Booted prospect signs, heads to minors

By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
Published February 10, 2008

ATLANTA - The Lightning believes the best place for defenseman Kevin Quick is with the organization. That is why it moved as quickly as possible to sign the 78th overall pick of the 2006 draft to a tryout contract with AHL Norfolk.

Quick was dismissed from the University of Michigan team Feb. 1 for an undisclosed violation of team rules, believed to be unauthorized use of a credit card.

Norfolk general manager Claude Loiselle declined to discus Quick's situation other than to say, "We recognize the young man made a mistake. Right now, the best course of action is to bring him under our umbrella and into our system of coaches."

Quick, 19, is highly regarded with exceptional skating ability and offensive instincts. The 6-foot, 175-pound freshman had two goals, two assists and 12 penalty minutes in 21 games for the Wolverines.

It has been quite a few days for the Buffalo-area native, who left school after being disciplined and was claimed by Des Moines of the junior-level United States Hockey League in what agent Steve Bartlett called "a rights sweepstakes."

The contract with Norfolk, signed Saturday, is for 25 games and is a bridge to an NHL futures contract Quick likely will sign after March 1. That contract would kick in next season. Under collective bargaining agreement rules, a contract signed before March 1 would apply to this season.

Bartlett also declined to discus why Quick was removed from the Michigan team.

"We're not hiding from it or dodging it, but it's a sensitive thing," he said. "There's due process involved, and I don't think the whole story is out. It was a stupid error in judgment that kids do sometimes, and he's going to pay a price for it."

ROY SITS AGAIN: Andre Roy sat out a third straight game, and coach John Tortorella reiterated it was for disciplinary reasons stemming from a Feb.2 game against the Panthers in which they had words. But Tortorella also is one to stick with a winning lineup, and Tampa Bay is 2-0-1 without the left wing.

Either way, Roy said he takes responsibility for his plight.

"It's my fault," he said. "It's me that put myself in this position. I got a little frustrated on the bench. I just have to control myself. I can't do anything besides work hard in practice and when I do play, keep my emotions in check."

BOYLE UPDATE: George Bazos, agent for defenseman Dan Boyle, said talks about extending his client's contract were delayed but are expected to start this week.

ODDS AND ENDS: Defenseman Brad Lukowich left the game with a lower body injury. ... Tampa Bay is 1-5 in overtime. ... Defenseman Doug Janik was scratched.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.