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Tampa Bay Lightning's AHL affiliate signs former All-Star Mark Parrish to tryout deal

TAMPA — Lightning assistant general manager Tom Kur­vers said no dots should be connected. Still, it was difficult not to extrapolate after Thursday's signing by the Norfolk Admirals, Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate, of former All-Star Mark Parrish to a pro tryout contract.

The Lightning has tried in vain to find the correct fit at right wing on Vinny Lecavalier's line, and it just so happens Parrish can play right wing.

But Kurvers said, "It really doesn't connect. It really wasn't talked about. … (Parrish's signing is) just to have enough players to absorb injuries. He wasn't signed with Vinny's line in mind."

Even so, if Parrish, trying to reignite a career that has gone a bit sour, works out, he will give the Lightning another option.

Parrish, 32, who played in the 2002 All-Star Game, scored 30 goals for the Islanders in 2001-02 and averaged 25 for them from 2001-06. But after signing a five-year, $13.25 million contract with the Wild, Parrish scored just 35 goals over the next two seasons and was bought out.

He had eight goals in 44 games last season with the Stars and in September was released from a tryout contract with the Canucks.

Parrish's tryout is for a maximum 25 games and $28,000. If he is released early, his salary will be cut proportionally.

"It's completely up to … Parrish how he performs," Kurvers said. "We know he has NHL ability."

FOSTER CLOSE: D Kurtis Foster said his lower body injury sustained Saturday against Atlanta is minor. And after consulting with a doctor Wednesday, he said he can't make it worse by playing. It's just a matter of tolerating the pain. He hopes to play Saturday against Carolina.

FAMILIAR FACE: LW Stephane Veilleux said he had a good experience playing for Jacques Lemaire, who "was a really good teacher" and "always treated players the right way."

Lemaire, now the Devils coach after eight seasons with the Wild, said Veilleux can bring a lot.

"This kid comes to play, gives his heart every practice, every game," Lemaire said. "He's a good skater. He brings some hits. He plays well defensively, and he's going to get the odd goals."

TEBOW TALK: G Mike Smith, who needed seven months to overcome post-concussion syndrome, said his biggest advice for Gators QB Tim Tebow is "to not come back too early … take time."

Smith said the symptoms won't go away by playing. They'll likely get worse.

"Everyone loves the sports we play," he said. "But in the whole big picture of it, you've got to worry about life after you're done with your professional career.

"It's not worth it right now. If you miss one or two games, it's not a big deal. But if he tries to come back too early and gets injured again, it could cost him his career."

NUTS AND BOLTS: Lecavalier, who was 9-for-29 in faceoffs in the first two games, went 9-of-17 Thursday. … The Lightning is 8-6-3 in home openers. … Former Lightning D Cory Murphy was a Devils scratch. … D Lukas Krajicek was scratched for Tampa Bay. … Magic All-Star C Dwight Howard dropped the puck before the game.

Tampa Bay Lightning's AHL affiliate signs former All-Star Mark Parrish to tryout deal 10/08/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2009 11:49pm]
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