A few weeks ago, Raw Charge asked its readers how they felt about the Tampa Bay Lightning’s use of the organizational depth in net. At the time, Lightning backup Louis Domingue had played one game with Tampa, while Syracuse Crunch backup Nick Riopel had gotten in only a paltry 20 minutes with his club. The majority of the people who voted in the poll expressed the idea that both backups deserved a bit more of a chance to show what they could do.
One of those backups never got the opportunity.
News broke Wednesday night that the Lightning has traded for netminder Eddie Pasquale. Pasquale was with the Edmonton Oilers organization, playing for AHL Bakersfield. Tampa exchanged Riopel, minor leaguer Ty Loney, and future considerations for him.
The Condors have acquired G Nic Riopel and RW Ty Loney from Syracuse for future considerations. In addition, G Eddie Pasquale has been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning for future considerations. pic.twitter.com/uryx58nsUO— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) February 1, 2018
The Crunch have been relying on rookie Connor Ingram in net ever since Domingue was recalled a a month ago. Ingram has performed admirably well under the sudden pressure of being a number one goalie in the AHL, going 7-2-1 since 12/31/17. However, there was certainly a concern that maybe Ingram was being ridden a bit too hard, and some wondered if it would be good for the Crunch to have someone trusted to take over every now and then.
Well, it certainly appears as though that’s exactly what this is: a depth move to help shore up Syracuse while Domingue is up with the Lightning.
Of course, this move invites more questions than it answers. A little over a week ago, Raw Charge contributor Geo wondered what the organization would do when injured goalie Peter Budaj was ready to return from injury. Although Domingue’s recall status has been clarified since (he’s under emergency recall, which means that his waiver threshold is 10 games played, not 30 days on roster), the question still remains, and, if anything, has gotten even more complicated.
If Domingue is going to be with Tampa Bay for some time, this adds some really nice AHL experience in Syracuse.— PATRICK WILLIAMS (@pwilliamsNHL) February 1, 2018
Pasquale has bounced back pretty well from hip surgery in 2014. https://t.co/bOuiDgGuVg
Pasquale isn’t an ECHL’er like Riopel. He has appeared in 16 games with the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League this season, compiling a record of 6-5-4 to go along with a 2.60 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. He’s played in 211 career AHL games over seven seasons with the Condors, Grand Rapids Griffins, St. John’s IceCaps and Chicago Wolves, posting a record of 100-83-10 to go along with a 2.60 goals-against average, a .913 save percentage and 15 shutouts.
Chances are, Pasquale won’t be pleased if Domginue or Budaj arrives in Syracuse and the organization tries to send him to ECHL Adirondack. I highly doubt ECHL time is in the works for Ingram. Will they then trade Pasquale again? Is another solution - possibly Budaj’s departure from the organization - now more seriously in the works? All good questions without real answers right now.
On a lighter note, many Crunch fans will probably remember Pasquale from a certain moment early on in Syracuse’s partnership with the Lightning: