The Syracuse Crunch waits to find out who their opposition will be in the AHL's Eastern Conference Finals (game 6 of the semifinal series between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Providence is tonight, Providence leads 3-2). One thing they found out while idle is that defenseman Brian Lee is done for the season.
Lindsay Kramer reported that Lee is done for the playoffs, with an injury suffered on Friday night. It hasn't been disclosed just what the injury is or how it was sustained, but Lee is done.
The contest for who steps into the spot held by Lee begins immediately, and likely will be determined by how well the players perform in practice. Brendan Mikkelson, another defenseman that had been carried on the Lightning roster at the onset of the season, has been the guy stepping in lately when other defensemen can't go (Dimitry Korobov, for example, was out on Friday; Mikkelson replaced him in the lineup).
The big complication with that is the fact Mikkelson is not a right-handed shot; Brian Lee is.
If Syracuse coach Rob Zettler wants another right handed shot in the lineup to replace Lee, he may give Luke Witkowski a look-see, though there are other defensemen likely in front of Luke on the depth chart. Witkowski, who signed his entry level contract and joined the Crunch late in the season, has only played 3 games with Syracuse without registering a point. Likely it'll be Korobov and Mikkelson, though. [Note by John Fontana, 05/20/13 7:09 PM EDT ]So much as for that idea; the Crunch have released several from their Amateur Tryout Contracts, including Witkowski.
Lee has played a total of 18 games with Syracuse since his demotion (including the playoffs). He was -3 in 11 regular season games with the club, recording one assist over that time. He had played in all 7 Crunch playoff games without recording a point. Lee has a year left on his contract with the Lightning.