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There are certainly plenty of candidates in Syracuse for a promotion to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but what role are the Bolts looking to fill by doing it?
The Tampa Bay Lightning has been carrying a full 23 man roster for the season so far. Though there are some bumps and bruises among Lightning players, the roster has been sound for the most part... The three reservists -- defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Marc-Andre Bergeron along with forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie -- have seen scant amounts of playing time with the full roster.
During the Lightning's winning streak, Head Coach Guy Boucher did not want to mess with the Lightning's mojo by adjusting the lineup to provide the aforementioned three playing time. Now that the Lightning are on a three game losing streak, adjustments aren't out of the question.
In fact, a surprising one occurred today in that forward Dana Tyrell was put on waivers with the intention of assigning him to the Syracuse Crunch. Tyrell has been the swing-man in the lineup - the guy who would be replaced so Labrie could play, of the Lightning could use a 7th defenseman in Bergeron. We'll know if Tyrell, who has two points this season in six games, clears waivers at noon tomorrow. While there is no guarantee he will be claimed, I wouldn't hold it past Calgary Flames GM Jay Feaster, who drafted Tyrell in 2007, to pick him up. The Flames have bigger needs than Tyrell right now, but the possibility is still there.
In the meantime, speculation has turned up a notch on who the Lightning would recall - and yes, they do plan to make a call-up. Odds are we'll know by the conclusion of tonight's Syracuse Crunch game this evening, but one thing that's been published via Twitter is that it won't be Brett Connolly.
So who would the Lightning call up specifically to deal with the Rangers? Who makes sense? It's easy to say the Bolts could call up someone with a potent offense but... Well, this is the Tampa Bay Lightning we're talking about here, and the issues isn't a lack of potency lately as-so-much a lack of shooting. Do they need the addition of scoring? Sure, it'd be nice to get a look-see the likes of Richard Panik, Alex Killorn or Tyler Johnson, but is that what the club is in need of replacing in Tyrell to the extent that they'd risk losing Dana in the first place for that promotion?
With the insinuation that Connolly will not be the recall, J.T. Wyman moves to the forefront in potential recall. J.T. played 40 games in Tampa Bay last season, recording 2 goals and 9 assists. In fact, Wyman's place on the club was locked in with Tyrell's season-ending knee injury in 2011-12.
Jean Francois Jacques is a potential, but that recall seemed more apt for the Philadelphia game or perhaps the now-cancelled Boston Bruins affair that was due to be played today/tonight - another tough guy. Crunch captain Mike Angelidis is another potential recall for his toolsy play... But, again, to risk losing Tyrell to recall the Crunch team captain for a limited appearance seems like the wrong move to make.
The oddest type of recall would be Mark Barberio or another defenseman, who would play on an 11-7 roster split against the Rangers. With eight defensemen on the Lightning as-is, that kind of move seems really far-fetched... But it's possible, and opens the way for further player movement if the Lightning wishes to shop one of their existing defensemen.
Whatever the case, we should know soon enough who will join the Bolts in Manhattan tomorrow.
[Note by John Fontana, 02/09/13 6:54 PM EST ] Just about gametime tonight in Syracuse and Alex Killorn is not in the lineup for the Crunch. Also, Alex Hutchings has been recalled by the crunch from teh Florida Everblades...