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Lightning journal: D Jake Dotchin placed on unconditional waivers

By NICK KELLY

Times Staff Writer

BRANDON — D Jake Dotchin was placed on unconditional waivers Friday with the purpose of terminating his contract for a material breach, the Lightning said.

The team disclosed no details but is believed to be unhappy with Dotchin's conditioning.

Dotchin's agent, Samuel Perreault, wouldn't discuss details but said he and his client "respectfully disagree" with the decision.

"We will look at all options available to us according to the (collective bargaining agreement), and we will leave it at there for now ," Perreault said.

Dotchin, a sixth-round draft pick in 2012, had a salary cap hit of $812,500, the cap website capfriendly.com says. He had one year left on a two-year deal.

Once seen to have a bright future with the Lightning, Dotchin did not play in the 2018 postseason. In the regular season he spent time in the top defense pairing with Victor Hedman but also was a healthy scratch several times.

"Obviously the playing time is down a bit," Dotchin said in February after he was scratched for the fifth time in six games. "I just got to keep working hard, put my head down and do what I can do, do things in my control to get better and get back in the lineup."

At the time, coach Jon Cooper said Dotchin had a few inconsistencies in his game that needed to be rounded out.

Dotchin played in 48 games last season, with three goals and eight assists, and was plus-17.

Laughing six years later

AHL Norfolk seemed immune to losing during the 2011-12 season — until it faced Manchester in the Calder Cup playoff quarterfinals. Lightning F Andy Andreoff, acquired from the Kings in the offseason, played for that Manchester team, which snapped Norfolk's 29-game winning streak in Game 2 of their playoff series. He made sure to remind Cooper, who coached Norfolk. "We had a good laugh about that," Cooper said.

Foote starts first day strong

D Cal Foote lined up next to Hedman when the first puck was dropped in the Lightning's scrimmage.

Don't read too much into that, though, at least not in terms of future defensive pairings. More than anything, it shows the coaching staff what Foote, Tampa Bay's first-round draft pick in 2017, can do.

Foote, who played in juniors last season, is vying for a spot on a crowded blue line.

"It's a little harder when you're running the practices to look at guys, but in the scrimmage he was making that first crisp pass on the tape," Cooper said. "Breaking guys out of the zone is an asset of his, and he really used it well. That was a really good sign (Friday)."

In the red

Friday was the first day of skating and on-ice action. Most players on the roster participated fully, but a couple wore red noncontact jerseys as they participated in drills. F Ryan Callahan led that group as he returns from May surgery on his right shoulder. D Ben Thomas and F Michael Bournival joined him.

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