The Tampa Bay Lightning has announced the recalls of Adam Erne and Yanni Gourde from the Syracuse Crunch. For both players, it is their second call up of the year. Erne was last with the Lightning from January 1st to January 9th. He made his NHL debut and played in four games. He didn’t register a point, and was a minus-three with no penalties. Gourde was with the team from December 29th through January 4th. He played in two games, was scoreless, had an even plus-minus, and garnered no penalties.
Ben Bishop was the only Lightning player to miss practice yesterday. The original reason given was that he was not feeling well and had the flu. According to the organization, he did have the flu, but was also pending a trade to the Los Angeles Kings. So it begs the question about these two recalls — is there another trade ready to happen or is the flu still going around the locker room?
The Lightning have several assets, especially among forwards, that they could potentially move before the deadline. Steve Yzerman has said that the team is still trying to make the playoffs, but these recalls feel like they may say otherwise.
On the other hand, it really could just be the flu. Jonathan Drouin missed a game Thursday night against Calgary with the flu. In a morning press conference, Yzerman said that the call-ups were to make sure the team had a full line-up, whether from the flu or from further trades that could be coming.
#tblightning Yzerman says Gourde, Erne called up as insurance so they have full lineup. Whether that's flu or moves— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) February 27, 2017
Who might be moved? We speculated earlier today that it is either Brian Boyle or Valtteri Filppula.
Gourde has been on a good scoring pace all season for the Crunch. He has put up 43 points in 53 games including 20 goals. He is a small winger, and a fringe prospect to ever do any damage in the NHL. Gourde is on a four-game point streak with the Crunch with five points. He also has nine points overall in his last nine games.
Erne brings a bit more meat to the table with his 6’1”, 210 pound frame. A left hander, he can play left or right wing. He has 27 points in 37 games for the Crunch including 14 goals. He has dealt with some injuries this season and that is partly due to the more physical style he plays. Erne was a 2nd round pick in the 2013 draft and is projected as a middle six, power forward in the NHL. In his eight games since returning from his recall and subsequent injury. Erne has nine points including six goals in eight games. He’s definitely on a hot streak and that likely played into his getting the nod.