The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that winger Joel Vermin has been recalled from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
The first question it begs is “Who’s hurt now?” In reviewing Thursday’s loss against the Ottawa Senators, one of our staff noted that Ondrej Palat blocked a slap shot late in the third period from Dion Phaneuf. The shot went off Palat’s ankle and he reacted like it stung a lot. He blocked the shot with 1:34 to go in the third period and did not return to the ice.
With the team having a scheduled day off yesterday, there was no word about any injured players. However, Palat was not on ice for the team’s morning skate today while Joel Vermin was.
Ondrej Palat appears to be missing from #Bolts morning skate.— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) February 4, 2017
Here’s a look at the lines we are likely to see tonight against the Anaheim Ducks with Vermin in and Palat out.
#Bolts morning skate lines:— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) February 4, 2017
[UPDATE:] After morning skate, Bryan Burns confirmed with Jon Cooper that Palat is day-to-day and unlikely to play tonight.
Cooper said Palat was injured late in Ottawa game, is considered day-to-day and likely won't play tonight. #Bolts— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) February 4, 2017
This is Vermin’s third call-up of the season. He has two assists in nine games and overall has three assists in 15 NHL games. He’s still looking for his first career NHL goal. He has battled some injuries this year and has only played in 27 games for the Crunch with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points. In his AHL career, he’s been a half point per game scorer.
Taken in the 7th round of the 2013 draft, the Swiss-born winger is in his third full season in North America. He initially played professional in Switzerland in the NLA for SC Bern. Vermin has a contract in place to return to Switzerland with Lausanne next season, however he has an out clause to play in the NHL. He won’t need to make a decision until some time in the offseason though.
Reaching the midway point of his 20s (he turns 25 years old tomorrow), he has to be looking at his future career. To keep him in the organization, the Lightning will likely need to show him over the rest of this season that he can be a part of the future. That would mean they need to play him as much as they can for the rest of the season and see what they have in him to make a decision.
If he does decide to leave the organization for Switzerland, he should make a very good living in his home country.