Matt Taormina's season didn't exactly get off to the start he anticipated. After a strong October in the AHL, where he scored two goals and netted 8 assists in 7 games for Syracuse, Taormina was sidelined with an upper body injury for nearly half of November. Although the injury was reportedly not connected to the back problems that plagued Taormina during the Calder Cup playoffs last season, many speculated that there was some kind of connection.
Once he came back from that injury, Taormina played in five more games for Syracuse. He registered no points during that stretch and sits at a -4 at the end of November. Yet, the call up wheel has apparently decided it's his turn for a look with the Lightning as Tampa Bay has recalled him to add depth to the NHL team which suffered another loss to injury with , this one being Eric Brewer. Brewer is day-to-day with a lower body injury sustained during morning practice before the Lighting's game at Columbus this past Tuesday. This, along with the continued absence of Radko Gudas (who hopes to return to the lineup on Saturday for the Lightning's game against Winnipeg) necessitated the roster move.
The pull on Syracuse should be a little lessened despite this recall by the return of defenseman Nikita Nesterov to the Crunch's line up. Nesterov had been out ever since getting taking a shot off his shield against Binghamton on Nov. 27. He is expected to play this weekend.
Here is the full release from the team on Taormina's call up:
LIGHTNING RECALL DEFENSEMAN MATT TAORMINA FROM SYRACUSE
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled defenseman Matt Taormina from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Taormina, 27, has skated in 13 games this season with the Crunch, posting two goals and 10 points to go along with eight penalty minutes. The Warren, Michigan native ranks first on the Crunch defense for points and ranks tied for first for goals and assists. He’s played in 187 career AHL games with the Binghamton Senators, Lowell Devils, Albany Devils and Crunch, collecting 24 goals and 105 points, including a career-high 10 goals and 50 points in 2009-10.
The 5-foot-10, 182-pound defenseman has appeared in 49 career NHL games, with the New Jersey Devils and Lightning, recording four goals and 12 points with a plus-three rating. He made his Lightning debut on April 6 last season against the New York Islanders.
Taormina was undrafted and signed as a free agent by the Lightning on July 6, 2012.