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September 25, 2008

Lightning Assign Bochenski, Smaby and Konopka to Norfolk

TAMPA, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have assigned right wing Brandon Bochenski, defenseman Matt Smaby and center Zenon Konopka to the Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Brian Lawton announced today.

Bochenski, 26, is a 6-foot-1, 187-pound right wing entering his fifth professional season. The Blaine, Minnesota, native spent the 2006 playoffs and part of the 2006-07 season with the Admirals. He is Norfolk’s all-time leader in points-per-game (1.89) and goals-per-game (0.94). In 35 games with the Admirals, Bochenski posted 33 goals and 33 with 16 power play goals, five game-winning goals and two shorthanded goals. Bochenski owns or shares three Norfolk franchise records: most goals in a game (4), longest point scoring streak (14 games) and most hat tricks in a season and career (3).

Bochenski played in 40 games with Boston, Anaheim and Nashville last season. He totaled three goals and 13 points in those games. Bochenski has played in 121 career NHL games with Nashville, Anaheim, Boston, Chicago and Ottawa. He has amassed 24 goals, 54 points, six power-play goals and two game-winning goals. In 145 career AHL games between Norfolk, Providence and the Binghamton Senators, he has 90 goals and 93 assists for 183 points. That equates to 1.26 points-per-game during his AHL career.

Smaby, 23, is a 6-foot-5, 222-pound defenseman from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Last season, Smaby played in 58 games with the Admirals recording one goal and six points. In 124 career AHL games between the Admirals and Springfield Falcons, Smaby has scored three goals and 19 assists with 109 penalty minutes.

Smaby also made his NHL debut with the Lightning last season and appeared in 14 games with Tampa Bay going scoreless with 12 penalty minutes. The Lightning selected Smaby in the second round, 41st overall, at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Konopka, 27, is a 6-foot-1, 213-pound center from Niagara Falls, Ontario. Konopka appeared in 62 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season. He scored a career-high 24 goals and recorded a professional-best 55 points while serving as team captain. Konopka also played in three games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording four shots on goal and 15 penalty minutes.

Konopka has played in 32 career NHL games with Columbus and the Anaheim Ducks, scoring four goals and three assists with 83 penalty minutes. He has also played in 280 career AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Utah, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Portland. He has netted 86 career goals and recorded 212 points. He also played in 44 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording 17 goals and 45 points. Konopka has also played in 91 career games in the ECHL with Wheeling and Idaho, recording 28 goals and 98 points.

The Admirals will practice at Scope tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. They will then travel to Philadelphia on Saturday to face the Phantoms in their first preseason exhibition game. The game will take place at the Polonia Bank Flyers Skate Zone in Northeast Philadelphia 6:05 p.m. The Admirals then travel to Hershey to face the Bears at the Giant Center on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. before returning to Scope for the second week of camp.

The Admirals will host the Philadelphia Phantoms on Friday and Saturday, October 3 and 4, at Scope in two preseason games. The 20th season of Admirals hockey officially kicks off on Friday and Saturday, October 10 and 11, at Scope against the Hershey Bears.

Don't miss a minute of the action by purchasing your 2008-09 season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals' Administrative Offices at Scope, call (757) 640-1212 weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit anytime!

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