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Hamrlik will skip trip to Toronto

Defenseman Roman Hamrlik will not play in the Lightning's game at Toronto on Thursday because his visa to enter Canada has not been completed.

Hamrlik, a native of Czechoslovakia, should get his visa before the Lightning's next trip to Canada on Oct. 27, general manager Phil Esposito said.

Hamrlik will fly to Atlanta today to practice with the Knights, the Lightning's minor-league affiliate. Hamrlik will reunite with the Lightning on Friday, when the team plays at Buffalo.

"We've got all the paperwork done," Esposito said. "We're going to have (Hamrlik) go to immigration when we're in Buffalo to get it done."

Kontos on target

Entering Tuesday night, left wing Chris Kontos not only has the most goals in the NHL with six, but he also has the best shooting percentage at 85.7 percent. Kontos needed only seven shots on goal. Vancouver's Pavel Bure, the only player in the NHL who has five goals, took 15 shots on goal (33.3 percent).

Kontos has just one less goal than Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux (five) and St. Louis' Brett Hull (two) have combined.

Semenov is off it

Esposito thinks center Anatoli Semenov would score more goals if he had a wide blade on his stick.

"It's not much bigger than what I pick my teeth with," Esposito said. "The puck bounces so much, he needs a bigger blade."

The pitch man

Lightning play-by-play announcer John Kelly is featured in a St. Louis TV commercial for an auto dealer.

The spot was completed before Kelly broke his contract to do play-by-play for the Blues to take the same position with the Lightning.

He's hanging 10

Defenseman Marc Bergevin doesn't need a lake to water ski. During Tuesday morning's practice, he pretended he was water skiing behind the Zamboni.

Bergevin weaved back and forth across the Zamboni's wake like a pro from Sea World.


Manon Rheaume still has not signed a contract with the Knights. "We haven't got her contract drawn up yet because (general counsel) Henry (Paul) has the flu," Esposito said. . . . Gerry Helper, the Lightning's vice president for communications, handled the radio color commentary Tuesday. He also did color when Team USA played the Soviet Union on New Year's Eve at the Bayfront Center.