The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced the recall of Yanni Gourde from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. Unless a forward has been injured, Gourde will be the final of four recalls the Lightning will have from the AHL until the end of the year. If a forward is injured, then that means Gourde is on an emergency recall, which does not count against the recall limit, and would need to be returned to the Crunch when another forward becomes healthy.
To recap the recall restrictions, after the NHL trade deadline, NHL teams are only allowed four regular recalls of players. The Lightning have already used three such recalls on Jake Dotchin, Gabriel Dumont, and Adam Erne. Outside of these four recalls, after the trade deadline, the only players that may be loaned to the AHL are players that were recalled after the deadline, players on conditioning assignments, and players that were injured at the deadline and now are healthy enough to play.
This will mark the third call-up of the year for Yanni Gourde. He was last up for just a day right before the trade deadline and did not play in a game on his last call-up. In two games this year, he has no points. In four career NHL games, he has one assist. He has 46 points in 55 games for the Syracuse Crunch and is third in scoring on the Crunch. He sits just one point behind Matt Taormina and Cory Conacher’s 47 points for the team lead. His 22 goals are also tops for the Syracuse Crunch and tied for 7th in the AHL.
Gourde is a small forward with offensive instincts and is in his fourth year with the Lightning organization. He lacks the muscle to battle in the corners for pucks and doesn’t have quite enough offensive punch to really make it at the NHL level. If he was ever to find a full time spot, it would have to be as a third liner and power play specialist. At 25 years old, that possibility is dwindling for him however. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and will be free to sign with any team or potentially go to Europe.