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Updated: Tampa Bay Lightning return Cory Conacher to Syracuse

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The goalie move suggests Curtis McElhinney is danger of missing time.

NHL: SEP 21 Preseason - Lightning at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to the American Hockey League transactions page, the Lightning made several roster moves this morning. First, they returned Cory Conacher to the Syracuse Crunch after he spent some time in Tampa while Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov were recovering from injuries. More interesting though is that the team recalled goalie Scott Wedgewood.

Recalling a goalies suggests that one of the two regular goalies won’t be available against the Capitals. And given that Vasilevskiy appears to be starting, it seems like it would have to be Curtis McElhinney. We’ll have to wait for an official update from the team but as of now, it looks like Wegewood has been recalled to serve as the backup this afternoon.

The Lightning game today is the first half of a back to back. If McElhinney isn’t available tomorrow, the team will have to decide between giving Vasilevskiy a second consecutive start or going with Wedgewood. Wedgewood has 24 games of NHL experience with most of those coming in Arizona during the 17-18 season. He’s mostly been a high-end AHL starter but hasn’t been great in the NHL, posting a sub-.900 save percentage.

The Conacher move drops the Lightning back to having twelve forwards on the NHL roster. The team has been going with an eleven-forward and seven-defender lineup lately. If that continues, the twelve forwards is enough to give them an extra in case of injury. For now, Carter Verhaeghe appears to be headed for more healthy scratches as long as the team sticks with this alignment.

We’ll update this story with details if the team announces any more information about the reason for recalling Wedgewood.

Update:

As of this afternoon, the Wedgewood transaction has been removed from the AHL page. We’re not sure exactly what happened there. Either it was a mistake by the league or perhaps the team planned at some point to recall Wedgewood and changed their mind. Either way, the only transaction actually completed today was returning Cory Conacher to the Crunch.