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Lightning make grand training camp cuts, bringing Syracuse Crunch roster into focus

Twenty-eight players are removed from the Lightning roster; two return to juniors, one is released from his tryout, and 25 head to Syracuse Crunch camp.

Jonathan Marchessault is among a small group of prospects who remain with the Lightning after major roster cuts Saturday.
Jonathan Marchessault is among a small group of prospects who remain with the Lightning after major roster cuts Saturday.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As Tampa Bay Lightning training camp opened on September 18th, 64 players were part of the initial undertaking of training and assessment. That camp listing had seen a minor cut-down earlier in the week as invitees and junior-aged players were sent away (Brayden Point among them).

On Saturday during Fan Fest the beginning stages of a grand roster cut down came to light as 6 players were placed on waivers with the intention of demoting them to Syracuse Crunch (and the AHL training camp that's forthcoming). Minor league veterans such as Jerome Samson, Jean-Philippe Cote, Philippe Paradis, Matt Corrente, Mike Blunden and Michael Angelidis were all placed before the waiver wire - putting them before the other 29 NHL teams to potentially be claimed. This tier of waiving was due to happen, with no surprises in the group.

Later in the day, the grander cut-down of both junior aged players and those who aren't subject to waivers occurred. Hot goalie prospects Andrei Vasilevskiy and Kristers Gudlevskis were demoted to the Syracuse Crunch camp. The list of forwards and defensemen following them are as follows:

Forwards:  Jeff Costello, Cameron Darcy, Danick Gauthier, Yanni Gourde, Henri Ikonen, Cody Kunyk, Eric Neilson, Tanner Richard, Dalton Smith, Joel Vermin

Defensemen: Dylan Blujus, Jake Dotchin, Slater Koekkoek, Dan Milan, Joey Mormina, Nikita Nesterov, Artem Sergeev

Also part of the cut was Adam Erne and Anthony DeAngelo who were re-assigned to their junior clubs and goalie Peter Mannino was released from his tryout. All in all, 28 players were removed from the Lightning training camp roster.

Some of the non NHL veterans who haven't been cut can be looked at as official bubble players or perhaps getting a more extensive and intimate look see to gauge NHL readiness. This group includes forwards Jonathan Marchessault, Vladislav Namestnikov, Cedric Paquette, the injured Jonathan Drouin, and defenseman Luke Witkowski. Goalie Allen York also seems to be remaining with the club which signifies his likely destination is to the Florida Everblades training camp - he'll remain with the Bolts for a little while longer.

Nikita Kucherov, Marchessault, Namestnikov, Paquette and Witkowski don't require waivers to be sent down to the AHL. Everyone else (sans Drouin who can be returned to juniors) necessitates passing through waivers for demotion.