Sports Outside the Beltway

Tampa Bay demotes Defenseman Lukas Krajicek

The Lightning made this personnel move just before the NHL’s holiday roster freeze went into effect. From the St. Petersburg Times-

A day after Lukas Krajicek’s defensive-zone turnover led to a goal in Thursday’s 3-0 loss at Detroit, the defenseman was shipped to AHL Norfolk.Krajicek

Officially, an accumulation of factors cost Krajicek. He had one assist in 23 games and was minus-4 in his past two. And his turnover against the Red Wings led to Todd Bertuzzi’s third-period goal that made the score 2-0.

“The thing is, when you’re not scoring goals, you can’t be at the scene of the crime too many times,” coach Rick Tocchet said Friday. “When you’re not producing, you can’t have your fingerprints at the scene of the crime.”

Acquired in October 2008 from the Canucks for Shane O’Brien, Krajicek, 26, signed a one-year, $1.475 million contract during the summer.

Krajicek’s disappointing play in Tampa is just a continuation of his NHL career that started with the Florida Panthers during the 2001-2002 NHL season. The Panthers made the Czech born defenseman the 24th overall pick of the 2001 NHL entry draft.(Florida dealt him to the Vancouver Canucks on June 23rd 2006 in the infamous Roberto Luongo trade) Prior to 2008-09 where Krajicek scored 19 points, his highest output was 16. A slippage this year shouldn’t have come as a surprise to Tampa Bay management.

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