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Lightning pick up Niskala from Flyers

The Tampa Bay Lightning, parent club of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, have acquired defenseman Janne Niskala from the Philadelphia Flyers, parent club of the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, in exchange for a sixth-round choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Niskala, 26, was acquired by Philadelphia last week from Nashville for forward Triston Grant and a seventh-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-0, 200-pound Niskala recorded 19 goals and 25 assists for 44 points and 81 penalty minutes in 80 regular-season games this past season for the Predators’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. He led Admirals defensemen in goals (19, second among AHL defensemen) and points (44, tied for 11th among AHL defensemen).

A 2004 draft pick by Nashville, Niskala was the leading scorer among defensemen for bronze medal-winning Team Finland at the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Halifax and Quebec City.