Cibak Gets a Look-See
After a disappointing trip to Springfield following an impressive training camp, center Martin
Cibak has finally managed to find his way back to Tampa Bay. The 21 year old had 4 goals
and 8 assists in 45 games with the Springfield Falcons (AHL) this season, though serving
limited third line duties.
Injury to Alternate Captain Vincent Lecavalier opened the door for Cibak, who averaged over
13 minutes through his first two NHL games. He recorded his first NHL point, as assist on
Zdeno Cigar’s first period goal, last night in Washington and created numerous other scoring
While he names physicality and his solid defensive play as his biggest attributes, Cibak is also
a very talented play maker, with good vision of the ice. Given the mounting injuries to the
struggling Tampa Bay Lightning, Cibak could easily find himself donning Blue and Silver for
the remainder of the season.
GM Gives In
After nearly three hair-pulling season as the Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager, Rick
Dudley has finally thrown in the towel. Plagued by budget constraints and trade restrictions,
Dudley recently realized that Palace Sports & Entertainment ( Lightning owners) would never
make it to his page, and in fact, had closed the book long ago.
How to build a team by Rick Dudley is a very intriguing story. With tremendous focus placed
on youth, Dudley filled the depleted system with promising young prospects, such as
Alexander Svitov, Alexander Polushin, Nikita Alexeev and Anton But. He is also credited
with the acquisition of Nikolai Khabibulin, who has been a savior this year for the Lightning.
Dudley left a well stocked system, an All-Star goaltender and a few hidden gems in Martin St.
Louis and Dan Boyle, for Assistant General Manager Jay Feaster who will assume the role of
Feaster is a much better fit with PS&E than the strong-willed Dudley, who fought tooth and
nail for budget increases to add a few key components to the roster. Management also
expressed concerns over Dudley’s extensive scouting staff, which helped them to pull Ilja
Solarev, Vitali Smolyninov and Dimitri Bezrukov out of the depths of Siberia. We can
expect to see the scouting department downsized considerably in the future and in turn many
less unknown Russians come draft day.
The loss of Dudley is a huge hit to the youth of the organization. The future should bring
numerous trades exchanging youth for immediate help, something Dudley vehemently
Dudley has been offered a position advising the President of the team, Ron Campbell, but will
likely move on to another project.
Dieter Kochan is tied for the league lead in Wins with 18, but is 3rd in losses with 17.
Jeremy Van Hoof is second on the Ice Pilots with a plus-20.
Ryan Tobler ranks last for the Falcons with a minus-17.
Defenseman Mike Jones who has missed the entire season due to an unrelated injury during
the off-season has still not skated, but is expected to return eventually.
Tampa Bay goaltenders have posted a total of 12 shutouts this season (only Konstantinov &
Eklund have failed to record a SO).
Sheldon Keefe has missed the past 13 games due to a right MCL sprain, but is expected back
after the Olympic break.
Nikita Alexeev recorded his second NHL assist on Feb. 6, just 114 days after his first. The day
before he notched his first NHL goal in Sunrise.