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Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled seven different players in 11 days

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Michael Bournival is the newest player to move from Syracuse to Tampa.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Lightning have been battling injuries all season long. It started with the loss of Steven Stamkos all the way back on November 15th, and has been a swift downward spiral ever since. Right now, the Bolts have 28.35 million dollars worth of injured players on the roster.

The loss of Ben Bishop on Tuesday night was a major concern, but that appeared to be the only injury sustained by the Lightning in the game against Detroit. Then today, the Bolts made yet another recall.

There has been no official comment from the Lightning regarding additional injuries at the forward position, but that’s the concern - especially with Cedric Paquette and Vladislav Namestnikov missing mandatory practice this morning.

The Bolts season started on October 13, 2016 against the Red Wings — just 70 days ago. How many recalls have the Bolts made in the past 70 days? 18. That’s not ideal, but it’s not terrible.

Lately, things have really gotten out of hand. Here are the transactions between the Tampa Bay Lightning and AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch since December 12.

  • 12/12/16: Recall D Slater Koekkoek
  • 12/12/16: Recall F Erik Condra
  • 12/14/16: Recall F Cory Conacher
  • 12/14/16: Re-assign D Luke Witkowski to AHL
  • 12/14/16: Re-assign F Erik Condra to AHL
  • 12/14/16: Recall D Luke Witkowski (He was re-assigned and recalled the same day. His last minute re-recall was a “coach’s decision.”)
  • 12/15/16: Re-assign F Cory Conacher
  • 12/16/16: Recall F Erik Condra
  • 12/16/16: Re-assign D Luke Witkowski to AHL
  • 12/16/16: Recall F Cory Conacher
  • 12/19/16: Recall F Tanner Richard
  • 12/19/16: Re-assign F Joel Vermin to AHL
  • 12/21/16: Recall G Kristers Gudlevskis
  • 12/22/16: Recall F Michael Bournival

A few things jump out about the past 11 days. Erik Condra, Cory Conacher, and Luke Witkowski will probably be able to upgrade to business class on their next flight given all the frequent flier miles they’ve collected this season.

The argument can be made that some of these are paper transactions - simply smart moves to preserve roster days and extend the time needed between waivers.

Even with that in mind, the sheer volume of recalls is worthy of discussion. The team continues to struggle with injuries and is diving deep into the pipeline looking for answers.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect is the number of unique players being called upon to serve in the NHL.

  • 12/12/16: Recall D Slater Koekkoek
  • 12/12/16: Recall F Erik Condra
  • 12/14/16: Recall F Cory Conacher
  • 12/14/16: Re-assign D Luke Witkowski to AHL
  • 12/14/16: Re-assign F Erik Condra to AHL
  • 12/14/16: Recall D Luke Witkowski
  • 12/15/16: Re-assign F Cory Conacher
  • 12/16/16: Recall F Erik Condra
  • 12/16/16: Re-assign D Luke Witkowski to AHL
  • 12/16/16: Recall F Cory Conacher
  • 12/19/16: Recall F Tanner Richard
  • 12/19/16: Re-assign F Joel Vermin to AHL
  • 12/21/16: Recall G Kristers Gudlevskis
  • 12/22/16: Recall F Michael Bournival

Seven different players in eleven days. If the injuries continue, it’s possible that the team would address the situation with a trade, or at the very least a Professional Try-Out (PTO) contract to stabilize the Syracuse Crunch.

On a lighter note, JustinG. makes a great point about our current dilemma. “We're now living last off-season's worst case scenario where Stamkos signed with Toronto, Kucherov held out, and Bishop was traded to Calgary.”

It turns out those guys are pretty important. Here’s hoping they are back in the line-up soon.