AHL moves: "Killer" James Wright and Mike Vernace traded

Since the launch of Raw Charge in March 2009, I can't say there was a young player that we have pulled for quite like center James Wright. Wright came into the 2009-10 Lightning training camp and earned a roster spot. He saw playing time with the likes of Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis... He earned the nickname "Killer" from a preseason incident in Saskatoon against the Ottawa Senators Alex Kovalev.

But former GM Brian Lawton gave up on the Wright experiment in January 2010 - returning Killer to the Vancouver Giants of the WHL while claiming Nate Thompson off waivers from the New York Islanders.

And now, James is gone from the Tampa Bay Lightning system.

Wright, along with veteran minor league defenseman Mike Vernace, were traded to the Florida Panthers organization this evening for defensemen Mike Kostka and Evan Oberg. None of the mentioned players have been in an NHL game this season.

Kostka has not played an NHL game in his career. He played for UMASS-Amherst before becoming a journeyman on several AHL teams (the Rochester Americans, Portland Pirates and San Antonio Rampage). A righty-shot, Kostka has put up points in his minor league career where ever he has gone,

Oberg played in a total of 4 NHL games in his career, all with the Vancouver Canucks. His weight has been listed as both 165 lbs and 191 (he stands six-foot tall). He spent two years with the University of Minnesota-Duluth before joining the Vancouver Canucks organization.

The full press release about the deal is listed below the jump.

Vernace, Wright Sent to Panthers

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defensemen Evan Oberg and Mike Kostka from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward James Wright and defenseman Mike Vernace today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Oberg, 6-foot, 165 pounds, has played in 12 games with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League this season, notching two assists with 14 penalty minutes. He has played in 125 career AHL games with the Rampage, the Rochester Americans and the Manitoba Moose. Oberg has also skated in five career Calder Cup Playoff games, all with Manitoba during the 2009-10 season.

A native of Forestburg, Alberta, Oberg has played in four career NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Vancouver on April 10, 2009. Oberg was then acquired by Florida with the Canucks' third-round choice in 2013 in exchange for Chris Higgins on February 28, 2011. Before joining the professional ranks he played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Kostka, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, has appeared in 18 games with San Antonio this season, recording two goals and six points. He has played in 255 career AHL games with the Rampage, Rochester and the Portland Pirates. Kostka has recorded 24 goals and 118 points with 132 penalty minutes during his AHL career. He has also appeared in eight Calder Cup Playoff games, registering one goal.

A native of Etobicoke, Ontario, Kostka played college hockey at University of Massachusetts at Amherst before going pro. During his career with the Minutemen, he recorded 15 goals and 53 points in 143 games. Kostka was named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team in 2008.

Kostka was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buffalo Sabres on March 23, 2008.

Evan Oberg's NHL.com Player Page: http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8475104#&navid=nhl-keymatch

Mike Kostka's NHL.com Player Page: http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8474497&view=stats