On the heels of the elimination of the Norfolk Admirals from Calder Cup contention in the AHL the Tampa Bay Lightning have made three recalls from the Admirals squad. These are your blak aces.
The most obvious looming promotions were Blair Jones and Mattias Ritola, which has indeed happened. Rounding out the trio is netminder Dustin Tokarski.
Of course, Ritola and Jones had both been with Tampa Bay briefly last week. Tokarski, on the other hand, has not been promoted onto the NHL roster by the Lightning since January 2010 when Mike Smith was out of action.
None of the three will likely see playing time with the Lightning during the playoffs. That's why they're black aces - just taxi squad fodder. They'll watch, they'll experience, they'll learn. It's a just reward for their efforts during the 2010-11 campaign.
But, of course, they will be there in case an injury occurs to one fo the Lightning starters.