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Lightning release James Wisniewski from tryout contract

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski


The Tampa Bay Lightning reduced their training camp roster by making 24 cuts on Sunday, with the most notable name on the list being veteran defenseman James Wisniewski.

Wisniewski was in Lightning camp on a professional tryout contract, but was not able to earn a spot on the roster.

He was trying to make the Lightning lineup after he missed all but one game of the 2015-16 season in Carolina due to a knee injury in his first game with the team. It happened just 47 seconds into his first shift.

Wisniewski admitted that he was having some trouble in the preseason adjusting to the Lightning’s style of play that encourages their defensemen to jump into the play and be aggressive in the offensive zone. Here is what he told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times over the weekend when talking about the style of play:

“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.”

The 32-year-old Wisniewski has played in 552 NHL games, scoring 53 goals to go with 221 assists with Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Hurricanes.

The Lightning are returning most of the defense, including Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman, that helped get the team to the Eastern Conference Final in 2015-16.

Even though it did not work out for him in Tampa Bay he has enough of a track record in the NHL that somebody should be willing to take a chance on him, even after coming off of such a major injury.