Tampa Bay Lightning Release Defenseman James Wisniewski

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that the team cut 24 players from the training camp roster, including defenseman James Wisniewski, who was released from his professional tryout contract.

With the regular season approaching, the Tampa Bay Lightning will begin to narrow its roster down to the number of players needed to start the new year. Of the 24 players released from the 2016 training camp roster on Sunday, defenseman James Wisniewski, who signed a PTO, or professional tryout contract, back in August, was one of them.

Wisniewski, an 11-year league veteran who has played for six different NHL teams, signed that PTO and was brought in with the hope that he’d add some extra depth on the blue line, but as of today, that’s no longer the case.

In three preseason games with the Lightning, the 32-year-old Michigan native had one assist and finished with a plus-1 rating, two penalty minutes, and four shots on goal in 62:24 minutes of ice time.

While those aren’t disappointing stats, they’re not really impressive for someone who was supposed to prove himself and try to earn a spot on one of the NHL’s more loaded rosters. However, he was coming off of a major knee injury and sat out nearly all of last season, which doesn’t help when trying to get back into the swing of things.

Aside from that, the former Hurricanes defenseman mentioned that he had a hard time adjusting to the Lightning’s style of play with its defensemen, encouraging them to jump into the rush, as opposed to just dumping the puck in or letting the forwards take care of moving it into the attacking zone.

"“For me it’s harder,” Wisniewski said. ” A couple times I’ve done something and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s my fault.’ And they say, ‘No, it’s a great job; it’s the forward’s (responsibility).’ Just never played that way before. But it takes some getting used to.”"

As we’ve seen in the past, Wisniewski is a quality defenseman, and though it didn’t work out in Tampa Bay, we’re sure that he’ll have a shot a finding a place elsewhere and showcasing his skills.

In addition to Wisniewski, the Tampa Bay Lightning cut 23 other players from the roster, including highly-regarded forward, Adam Erne, who is dealing with an undisclosed injury, 2015 second round pick and forward, Mitchell Stephens, and goaltender Adam Wilcox.

With that said, the Syracuse Crunch will open training camp on Tuesday, Oct. 4 and most of the players released from the Lightning roster will join the Crunch this week.

You can find a complete list of Sunday’s cuts below courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Forwards (14)

15   BOURNIVAL, Michael   Syracuse (AHL)
37   DARCY, Cameron   Syracuse (AHL)
73   ERNE, Adam   Syracuse (AHL)
65   GOURDE, Yanni   Syracuse (AHL)
49   HALMO, Mike   Syracuse (AHL)
39   HART, Brian Syracuse (AHL)
57   IKONEN, Henri   Syracuse (AHL)
53   LETOURNEAU-LEBLOND, Pierre   Syracuse (AHL)
44   McGINN, Tye Syracuse (AHL)
33   MORIN, Jeremy Syracuse (AHL)
63   PECA, Matthew   Syracuse (AHL)
38   RICHARD, Tanner   Syracuse (AHL)
67   STEPHENS, Mitchell Saginaw (OHL)
47   TAMMELA, Jonne Peterborough (OHL)

Defensemen (8)  

72   BLUJUS, Dylan   Syracuse (AHL)
45   COMRIE, Adam   Syracuse (AHL)
59   DOTCHIN, Jake   Syracuse (AHL)
74   MASIN, Dominik    Syracuse (AHL)
20   TAORMINA, Matt   Syracuse (AHL)
56   THOMAS, Ben Syracuse (AHL)
75   WALCOTT, Daniel   Syracuse (AHL)
21   WISNIEWSKI, James Released from PTO

Goaltenders (2)   

35   RIOPEL, Nicola   Syracuse (AHL)
32   WILCOX, Adam   Syracuse (AHL)

Next: Lightning News: Facing Nashville, ThunderBug, And More

In a blink of the eye, the 2016-17 NHL regular season will be upon us and in 10 short days, the puck will drop between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings at Amalie Arena. There’s no doubt the crowd inside will be electric and Bolts Nation can’t wait to release all of its energy from the long off-season. Before it all begins, though, we’ll have a good idea on who will be on the ice and who won’t be for the Bolts by the Bay.