More defensive depth has been brought into the Lightning organization and the Bolts possible #6 D-man in Dan Jancevski:
From Erik at the Trib:
The hub-bub from inside the organization is that Jancevski, who was a big part of Hamilton’s Calder Cup championship team lalst season, comes in sitting as the No. 6 defenseman on the depth chart right now ahead of Matt Smaby, Jay Leach and others heading into training camp. A 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Windsor, Ontario, Jancevski spent five seasons in the Dallas system before playing one year in the Montreal organization last season. He has played 470 games in the AHL scoring 28 goals and adding 141 points. He earned one call up with Dallas during the 2005-06 season but appeared in two games before being sent back down.
Defensive prospect Mike Egener has also been signed to a one year, 2 way contract.
Jancevski's signing and status creates a few questions about the Lightning defensive prospects. Matt Smaby, Andy Rogers and Egener have all been highly touted and future pieces for the blue line in Tampa... Yet with the Lightning adding defensive depth this off season (for both AHL Norfolk and in Tampa) one has to wonder just how close these guys are to breaking into the NHL? Is Feaster tryng to delay Smaby and Co? Or simply provide a challenge for them, drawing a line in the sand if you will? Competition for the #6 D-man role could be a boon for the Lightning and it could be a non event a-la the 2005 pre-season where no one stepped into the role outright (Timo Helbing ended up being dubbed the teams #6 D-man out of training camp with Paul Ranger replacing him several days later).
Whatever the case, the beat goes on here in the NHL off-season. After less than a week of free agency the Lightning are different and yet the same.