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Here’s what we learned about Slater Koekkoek’s recall

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Raw Charge reached out to the Syracuse Crunch and Tampa Bay Lightning front offices to unravel our confusion about the recall.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, when Jason Garrison was injured in the second period against the Boston Bruins, we published an article explaining why Slater Koekkoek would not be called up, according to CBA section 13.12 (m) (ii):

Emergency conditions shall be established when the playing strength of the Loaning Club, by reason of incapacitating injury or illness or by League suspension to its Players is reduced below the level of two (2) goalkeepers, six (6) defensemen and twelve (12) forwards. Proof of the existence of the emergency conditions including the incapacity shall be furnished to the Commissioner of the League upon request made by him.

According to the roster, Tampa already has six defensemen: Victor Hedman, Jake Dotchin, Luke Witkowski, Anton Stralman, Braydon Coburn, and Andrej Sustr. If our reading was correct, it meant that they would not be able to add another defenseman.

Today, Koekkoek was recalled, so we were clearly incorrect.

We reached out to the Syracuse Crunch and Tampa Bay Lightning front offices to sort out our confusion about how Koekkoek was able to be recalled.

Brian Breseman, Public Relations Director for the Lightning, reiterated that Koekkoek was recalled on an emergency basis.

Megan Cahill, Public and Media Relations Manager of the Syracuse Crunch, said further that, “Garrison left the game last night with a lower-body injury. Koekkoek was called up on an emergency basis.”

In a follow-up phone call to Jim Sarosy, Chief Operations Officer of the Syracuse Crunch, we learned that the Crunch has no further comment on the Lightning organization’s list of injured players that might have necessitated the recall of Koekkoek.

Here’s our speculation.

Is there an additional injury at F or D?

Luke Witkowski continues to be listed by the NHL as a defenseman, including on the official game reports. But Witkowski is currently playing as a forward, and might not officially count toward determining the number of healthy players at the defense position.

Listing Witkowski as a forward allowed the Lightning to only have five healthy defensemen on the roster giving them the ability to recall Slater Koekkoek on an emergency basis.

The one question that’s left is whether Greg McKegg is injured, or whether there was another injury to a forward during the game against the Bruins. Without an injury, the Lightning would be required to return Joel Vermin to the AHL, since he was recalled on an emergency basis as well.

Without an injury to McKegg or another forward, that would leave the Lightning with 13 healthy forwards if they are counting Witkowski as a forward. We’ll have to wait until warm-ups to find out more on the Lightning’s injury situation.