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Tampa Bay Lightning re-assign Alex Volkov and waive Luke Schenn signaling return of Pat Maroon

Volkov’s audition didn’t go as well as he might have liked.

NHL: JAN 14 Kings at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-assigned forward Alex Volkov to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. The team has also placed defenseman Luke Schenn on waivers signaling that he will be assigned to Syracuse if he clears waivers tomorrow. Volkov has played four games since his recall recording his first career assist and point in the NHL. Schenn has played 15 games with one goal. He has not played since December 31st against the Buffalo Sabres.

Volkov was recalled due to an injury to Ondrej Palat, though Palat only missed one game. In that game, Pat Maroon was hooked going to the net and collided with the end boards hard suffering an upper body injury. The injury to Maroon meant that Volkov would remain with the team. While he did record his first career assist and point, Volkov did not overly impress. He was losing board battles and generally not playing a very consistent game, which has been a criticism of him in the AHL.

I haven’t quite given up on Volkov as a prospect, but the shine has definitely dulled after his eight game audition in the NHL this season. The Lightning could use some help in the top nine, and could be looking for that help in the trade market, but they also obviously would want to evaluate some of their internal options. Volkov was one of them. Mitchell Stephens was one and appears to be sticking with the team. Alex Barre-Boulet, Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, and Ross Colton could also be seen as candidates, but they all look like long shots to be able to step in and contribute at this point in time. Mathieu Joseph though remains a possibility to come back up to the NHL if the team feels he has sufficiently rediscovered his game in Syracuse.

For Schenn, it’s a simple numbers game. With Ryan McDonagh and Braydon Coburn recently returning from injuries, the Lightning had eight healthy defensemen on the roster. He’ll also fill a spot of great need for the Syracuse Crunch. While Cal Foote and Cameron Gaunce have been playing well at the top of the blue line for the Crunch, the team has really needed some help behind them. Especially on the right side.

Luke Witkowski has missed time with injury. Ben Thomas is... well... Ben Thomas. Schenn can bring the kind of defensively minded, physical game that the Crunch are missing on their blue line right now. They have the offensive firepower up front, but need some defensive play to help support the struggling goaltenders.