After another rash of injuries, the Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forwards Joel Vermin and Yanni Gourde from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forwards Joel Vermin and Yanni Gourde from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Vermin, 5-foot-10, 187 pounds, has played in five games with the Lightning this season, recording one assist. He made his NHL debut on November 19 and recorded his first point on November 21 at the Anaheim Ducks. Vermin recorded a season-high for ice time on November 21 against the Ducks with 12:22.
A native of Frauenkappelen, Switzerland, Vermin has played in 15 games with Syracuse this season, recording three goals and 11 points. He ranks tied for sixth on the team for points.
Gourde, 5-9, 167 points, has not appeared in an NHL game. He has skated in 24 games with the Crunch this season, recording five goals and 13 points with a plus-2 rating. Gourde is tied for third on Syracuse for points and tied for fourth for goals. He led the Crunch for goals in 2014-15 with 29 and power-play goals with eight.
With Tyler Johnson out for at least a week, Ondrej Palat leaving the game Saturday night, and Jonathan Drouin being a late scratch before Saturday's game, the Lightning forwards corps is again being wrecked by the injury bug. It just seems like nothing can go right for this team so far this year. Last season, most of the injuries seemed to come from the blue line as the team lost Radko Gudas mid-way through the year and then suffered through injuries to Jason Garrison and Braydon Coburn towards the end of the year. This year it's been the forwards that have suffered.
Joel Vermin is back after having played a solid five games with the Lightning to start. The last couple games, he had trailed off a little bit and was not quite the player he had been at the beginning of his recall. It will be interested to see if he picks back up and returns to form on this latest call up. Like Brown and Paquette, he's at his best using his improved skating abilities to forecheck and be a pain in the rear. He's not likely to ever be a big point producer, but he can contribute to the team.
Yanni Gourde is a small sniper on the wing. He had his best professional season last year for the Crunch, but has struggled to regain his form this season. There could be a number of reasons for that such as ever changing line combinations and a general lack of skill in Syracuse. Gourde is probably just as likely to be scratched for the seventh defenseman as he is to get his NHL debut before going back to Syracuse.
So far, it seems all of these injuries are "minor" and not season ending injuries. However, it sure is getting frustrating for the fans, and of course for the team as well, to be continuously dealing with these injuries. Just for baseless speculation's sake, here's two sets of potential forward line ups with what we know about the healthy forwards.
||Steven Stamkos||Nikita Kucherov|
|Alex Killorn||Valtteri Filppula||Ryan Callahan|
|J.T. Brown||Brian Boyle||Yanni Gourde|
|Mike Blunden||Jonathan Marchessault||Joel Vermin|
|Alex Killorn||Steven Stamkos||Nikita Kucherov|
|J.T. Brown||Valtteri Filppula||Ryan Callahan|
|Joel Vermin||Vladislav Namestnikov||Jonathan Marchessault|
|Mike Blunden||Brian Boyle||Yanni Gourde|