The Tampa Bay Lightning made some transactions on Wednesday, including the re-assignment of two players to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League and the signing another Syracuse player to a contract.
The Lightning signed defenseman J.P. Côté to a two year, two-way contract Wednesday afternoon as announced by general manager and vice president Steve Yzerman. He was then recalled to the Lightning.
Côté had a good training camp with the Lightning back in September, but did not make the final roster cut. His promotion should come as no surprise, especially after proving himself in his 10-year AHL career. Cote has spent time with Syracuse, the Norfolk Admirals, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, scoring 20 goals and notching 87 assists. During his AHL career, he is has a plus 128 rating.
This season, Côté has played in 19 games with the Crunch, scoring 2 goals and notching 7 assists with 35 penalty minutes. More importantly, the defenseman leads the team in the plus/minus category with a plus-6 rating.
Côté also has playoff experience in the AHL, he won the Calder Cup in 2012 with the Admirals. He has skated in 44 career Calder Cup playoff games amd has 2 goals and 8 assists in his AHL playoff career. He also had the second-highest plus/minus rating in the AHL playoffs last season with a plus-16.
The 6-foot-2, 212 pound defenseman has played in eight NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens in the 2005-2006 season.
Additionally, the Bolts reassigned defenseman Matt Taormina and forward Dana Tyrell to Syracuse.
The reassignment of Taormina and Tyrell could mean the forthcoming return of defenseman Victor Hedman and Tom Pyatt.
Tyrell was assigned from the Crunch to the Lightning on Nov. 27 and has played in seven games with Tampa Bay this season. Without registering a point, Tyrell had four shots on net and four penalty minutes with Tampa Bay.
On the other hand, Taormina played in seven games with Tampa Bay after being recalled from Syracuse on Dec. 4. The 5-foot-10, 182-pound defenseman had an even rating and averaged 13:23 in ice time..
Both demotions are needed reinforcements for Syracuse, who has been repeatedly tasked with providing bodies to an injury-depleted Tampa Bay roster.