Brett Connolly isn't having the greatest of starts in the AHL this season. In six games with the Syracuse Crunch, he's netted one assist. During the Crunch's radio broadcast of their game vs. Albany Wednesday night, Dan D'Uva mentioned that Crunch head coach Rob Zettler has been struggling to find a line for Connolly to play on that will spark something in the 21 year old forward.
Maybe a second recall this season will do that even better. And maybe that's what Tampa Bay is hoping for.
Connolly was recalled from Syracuse today. Erik Erlendsson tweeted that GM Steve Yzerman has stated that there are currently no injuries in Tampa that would require a call up. Erlendsson speculated that Tampa wanted thirteen forwards for the back-to-back games this weekend against the Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues. Bolt Prospects wondered if maybe it's to provide motivation for some struggling guys like Richard Panik. Others wondered if, indeed, Tampa was hoping to spark something in Connolly by giving him a second chance with the big club.
Whatever the reason, Connolly is now back with Tampa. From the team's official release:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Brett Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Connolly, 21, has skated in six games with the Crunch this season, collecting one assist. He ranked tied for first on the Lightning during the preseason with four goals in five games. The Campbell River, British Columbia native also ranked tied for second for points with four and his plus-4 rating ranked tied for fourth on the Lightning during the preseason.
During the 2012-13 season, Connolly appeared in five games with the Bolts, scoring one goal. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound forward has skated in 73 career NHL games with the Lightning, recording five goals and 16 points with 30 penalty minutes. Two of Connolly's five career goals have been game-winners. He scored his first career NHL goal on November 1, 2011 at Carolina and also made his NHL debut against the Hurricanes on October 7, 2011.
Connolly was originally draftedby the Lightning in the first round, sixth overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
As this move leaves the Crunch with a league minimum amount of healthy forwards, it's been announced that the Crunch is recalling Danick Gauthier from Florida of the ECHL. Gauthier has played six games with the Everblades this season, netting three goals and three assists. Last season for the Crunch, he played in 38 games and scored 5 goals and 5 assists.