Evgeni Nabokov signed with the idea that he could be third string by the winter, and transactions announced on Sunday have verified just that. Nabokov has been placed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning and 20-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy has been recalled from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.
It was this point or thereabouts last season where an injured Bishop had too much worked dumped on him, or at least the bulk work began in earnest without being spelled by then-backup Anders Lindback who the club did not seem to have faith in. That over-work would lead to a late season injury that knocked Bishop from participation in the 2014 NHL playoffs in total and contributed to the Bolts being swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the 1st round too.
With trying times (the road-heavy schedule and Western Conference titans immediately in front of the club, it would seem that they do not intend to make the same mistake. Perhaps this roster move is not permanent - Nabokov gone, Vasya the backup - but it is what it is for the moment as a bit of a surprise.
No corresponding move has been made by the Syracuse Crunch (a recall of Allen York from the Florida Everblades) so it's apparent that plans are for Nabby to end up in Syracuse if he clears.
UPDATE: Allen York has, in fact, been recalled by the Syracuse Crunch from ECHL Florida.
In 12 appearances this season for the Lightning, Nabokov has posted a .879 save percentage, a 3.33 goals-against average and has a 3-7-2 record. Vasilevskiy, in 4 appearances in the NHL, posted a .937 save percentage and a 1.76 goals-against average with a 3-1-0 record. Vasya has been in 21 games for the Crunch, with a 14-5-5 record, a 2.38 GAA and .919 save percentage.