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Luke Witkowski re-assigned to Syracuse Crunch of AHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-assigned defender Luke Witkowski to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, opening the door for a possible Radko Gudas return on Friday in Winnipeg.

Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-assigned Luke Witkowski to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, the team announced today.

Here's the full release from the team:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned defenseman Luke Witkowski to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Witkowski, 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, was recalled to Tampa Bay on October 19 but did not see any game action. The Holland, Michigan native has played in all four games this season for Syracuse, recording an assist and 15 penalty minutes. In his first professional season in 2013-14, Witkowski appeared in 76 games with Syracuse, notching two goals and 12 points with 204 penalty minutes. He lead all Crunch skaters for penalty minutes. Witkowski skated in four preseason games with Tampa Bay this season, recording an assist and 11 penalty minutes.

Witkowski had been called up due to injuries to Radko Gudas and Victor Hedman. While Hedman is still recovering from a fracture in his finger, it's looking more and more like Gudas will be ready to go on Friday night as the Lightning continue their road swing and face the Winnipeg Jets.

The move comes as very good news for the Crunch; Witkowski had been part of their top pairing alongside Lightning prospect Slater Koekkoek. The Crunch play a three-in-three this weekend starting Friday against the Worcester Sharks.