After sitting out last season in a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Petr Nedved plans to sign with a minor league team in Las Vegas.
The free-agent center has been unable to come to terms with the Penguins, and he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he is about to sign with the Las Vegas Thunder of the International Hockey League. The plans were confirmed by Thunder General Manager Bob Strumm.
"It's not about money in Pittsburgh," Nedved said from his home in the Czech Republic. "I want to be traded, and they understand that, but I can't push them to do what they don't want to do."
Nedved, 26, had 78 goals and 170 points in two seasons with the Penguins, who own his NHL rights until he turns 31. He was seeking $6 million over two seasons before last season, and the Penguins offered about $2 million less.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, the team with the worst record in the NHL last season, began its exhibition season with a 4-1 victory over European League champion Feldkirch in the opening game of the International Challenge tournament in Feldkirch, Austria.
Playing with NHL rules and referees but on the larger European rink, the Lightning had little trouble showing there is still a big gap in the way the game is played on the two continents.
In front of about 5,500 foot-stomping fans, Tampa Bay opened the scoring in the first period when Craig Janney, acquired from Phoenix in June, knocked in a loose puck.
Defenseman Pavel Kubina slammed home a drop pass from Mikael Andersson, and Paul Ysebaert scored as the Lightning went ahead, 3-0, after two periods.
Bill Ranford, acquired from Washington this year, lost his shutout when Feldkirch scored its only goal with 10 minutes remaining.