By KEVIN KELLY
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 4, 2000
TAMPA -- The opening-night roster is set.
Or is it?
Tampa Bay reduced its roster to 20 active players Tuesday by sending goalie Dieter Kochan to its IHL affiliate in Detroit and placing seven players on injured reserve.
But the number of active players was trimmed by one after the Lightning learned 23-year-old forward Dwayne Hay had been claimed off waivers by Calgary.
The Flames will honor the rest of the one-year, $357,500 contract he signed in July.
"All it means is, we're a little deeper than people might have given us credit for," Tampa Bay general manager Rick Dudley said. "Obviously, Calgary thinks he can play. At this point in time, he was the odd man out.
"We like Dwayne Hay. We would have been very happy for him to go through waivers and sometime move him back up.
"We liked him a lot but we had to make decisions based on the lot we have here."
Hay, a 6-foot-1, 219-pound left wing, came to Tampa Bay in mid-March as part of a three-man deal with Florida that also brought forward Ryan Johnson in exchange for Mike Sillinger. Hay played in 13 games for the Lightning last season.
"It came down to a business move," coach Steve Ludzik said. "That's hockey. He had tears in his eyes. He was a great kid."
Hay's departure means the team has four available roster spots it can fill before the season opener against the Islanders at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ice Palace. The league maximum is 23.
At least five players on injured reserve will be ready to play, according to Ludzik and medical trainer Dave Boyer, meaning the team could activate four and keep the rest on injured reserve.
Five of the injured (Petr Svoboda, Bryan Muir, Sergey Gusev, Andrei Zyuzin and Steve Martins) played in the black/white scrimmage on Tuesday at the Ice Palace.
Jaroslav Svekovsky (knee) and Paul Mara (broken finger) sat out.
"When we get healthy," Dudley said when asked when the team would fill the remaining active spots. "I know we've got plenty of spots right now."
IN GOAL: Ludzik confirmed, as expected, that Dan Cloutier will start in goal against the Islanders.
"I think Clouts deserves it," Ludzik said. "Cloutier did have a great camp. He deserves it and he's getting it."
Kevin Weekes, acquired in a draft day trade from the Islanders, sat out Tuesday's scrimmage but is expected to dress Friday.
Weekes missed nearly two weeks of practice with lower back pain. He returned Sunday.
Evgeny Konstantinov, the 19-year-old from Russia, looked outstanding in the scrimmage.
He allowed one goal in 14 shots faced, including two that bounced off his face mask. Cloutier allowed three goals on 22 shots.
SCRIMMAGE STARS: Forward Todd Warriner scored two goals and forwards Stan Drulia and Gordie Dwyer, who is suspended for the first 21 games of the season, scored one goal each in the 30-minute scrimmage.
Forward Mike Johnson had two assists and Vinny Lecavalier one.
It was the final scrimmage before the season opener.
"I'm very proud of my guys and the effort they put into training camp," Ludzik said. "I know no team in this league has worked this hard for opening night."
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From the wire
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