Tampa Bay Lightning claim defenseman Mike Kostka off waivers from Chicago

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Kostka will rejoin a core group of players he had success with in 2011-12 while a member of the Norfolk Admirals.

As circumstances would have them, the Tampa Bay Lightning boosted their roster by bringing back a player who had success on a Jon Cooper led team in 2011-12 after his acquisition from the Florida Panthers.  Defenseman Mike Kostka has been claimed off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Kostka was brought into the organization that season (along with Evan Oberg) as depth on the blue line for the Norfolk Admirals and the general Lightning organization... He didn't exactly fill the "warm body" role alone on D for the Ads, scoring 7 goals and 25 assists in 52 games played after his acquisition.  He also put up 12 points in 14 AHL playoff games, including this goal (that should have been waived off) to clinch game 3 of the Calder Cup finals:


Kostka moved on directly from his success with the Ads to the Toronto Maple Leaf organization, splitting time between the Marlies and the Maple Leafs.  He signed with Chicago during the 2013 off-season, but couldn't bring himself to talk down about his former head coach when the Lightning and Blackhawks squared off in October:

"He was awesome," said Kostka, who signed with the Maple Leafs as a free agent after playing with Norfolk. "He's a knowledgeable guy and knows the game. He can be strict at times but he also knows how to have fun with the guys. He was a really good balance for us. I can't say a bad word about him as much as I'd like to."

But Mike has battled injuries and not seen much playing time in Chicago (nine games total), spending a stint with the Rockford Ice hogs of the AHL...

The addition of Kostka can be seen as two pronged - it adds depth to the NHL roster and generally to the system, with injuries to Andrej Sustr and J.P. Cote in Syracuse, there's a need for that extra depth .  It also adds a little morale boost for the Tampacuse core - this is bringing a member of the band back! - Though it doesn't immediately explain where Kostka will play, and if another roster move is forthcoming on the blueline.

https://twitter.com/DarrenDreger/status/437637101681537024

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