The Tampa Bay Lightning organizations goaltending drama from this weekend was absurd, specifically when former first round draft pick (2006) Riku Helenius showed up to Syracuse before his official recall and found himself suspended by the organization for deserting his ECHL team. Helenius, of course, was going to be recalled by the Syracuse Crunch due to both Cedrick Desjardins and Kristers Gudlevskis being recalled by the Lightning in light of concerns with Ben Bishop and a lower body injury for Anders Lindback.
Helenius had previously refused assignment to the ECHL's Florida Everblades after he was displaced from his roster spot with the Crunch by rookie Gudlevskis, but ended up going at a later time. His stats have been something of abysmal - 4 appearances, 148 minutes played, a 6.08 goals-against average and a .797 save percentage. How much his poor play was instigated by playing somewhere he did not wish to be after falling out of the organization's overall plans remains to be seen. One thing that can't be unseen is just how those stats and Sunday's events signals a hastened end to Helenius' tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
Monday night, Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times let the world know that, in spite of bad stats in the ECHL and AHL (5 starts, a 2-3-0 record, a .875 save percentage and a 3.43 GAA) and the drama that's played out, someone out there has an interest in Helenius:
Keep on your radar: BriseBois said waiting to hear back Tues from a team about a trade for Helenius. If no-go will keep trying to move him.— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) February 4, 2014
"BriseBois" is a reference to Syracuse Crunch GM and Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois.
Helenius has reported back to the Everblades of the ECHL and has been reinstated by the club... But he won't play. He also won't be recalled by the Syracuse Crunch, which had Gudlevskis returned to the club by the Lightning after their 2-1 win in Montreal on Saturday afternoon.
We'll keep you posted on what happens with the netminder if and when the trigger is pulled on a deal - be it tomorrow or weeks from now. Who could possibly have interest? Start your speculation in comments.