Lightning Reassign Ritola, Jones To Norfolk
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned forwards Blair Jones and Mattias Ritola to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Ritola, 6-foot, 192 pounds, made his NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs debut last night in Game 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, logging 2:23 in ice time. He appeared in a NHL career-high 31 games during the season with the Lightning, recording career-bests with four goals and eight points. He also averaged 10:03 in ice time per game. He played in each of the Admirals’ first two Calder Cup Playoff games, recording a goal and two points with a plus-2 rating. Ritola excelled in limited time in Norfolk during the regular season, posting nine goals and 27 points in 17 games. His 1.59 points per game average led all Admirals.
A native of Borlange, Sweden, Ritola is a veteran of 228 AHL games with Norfolk and the Grand Rapids Griffins. He has amassed 50 goals and 133 points during his AHL career and had his best offensive season in 2009-10 when he tied for third on the Griffins with 42 points in 73 games, while ranking third on the team with six power-play goals and also recording an AHL career-high 178 shots. Ritola has played in 10 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording a goal and three assists.
Ritola was originally selected by the Red Wings in the fourth round, 103rd overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He joined the Lightning after being claimed off waivers from Detroit on October 5, 2010.
Jones, 6-foot-2, 216 pounds, played in 18 games with the Lightning this season, recording a goal and three points while averaging 8:00 in ice time per game. He tied career highs for goals, assists and points. Jones played in 56 games with Norfolk this season, notching 24 goals and 55 points with a plus-17 rating. Jones finished the regular season second on the team in points, goals and plus/minus as well as tied for second in assists. Jones has played in both Admirals playoff games so far, registering a plus-3 rating.
A native of Central Butte, Saskatchewan, Jones has played in 56 career NHL games, all with the Lightning. He has registered two goals and six points with 14 penalty minutes during his career. Last season Jones played in 14 games with the Lightning, recording 10 penalty minutes and averaging a career-best 12:50 in average ice time.
Jones was drafted by Tampa Bay in the fourth round, 102nd overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.