clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lightning Round: Training Camp roster features an interesting new jersey number

And a COVID dilemma in the AHL.

2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
TAMPA, FL - JULY 7: Mathieu Joseph #7, Alex Barre-Boulet #60, David Savard #58, Daniel Walcott #85, and Yanni Gourde #37 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in Game Five to win the best of seven game series 4-1 during the Stanley Cup Final of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on July 7, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have released their training camp roster for this year. The camp officially begins today with Media Day, with the 60-man roster hitting the ice on Thursday. Justin has an article out with the roster and some info on the proceedings. The roster consists of 36 forwards, 18 defensemen, and six goaltenders. This includes all 48 NHL contracted players, six of the more recent unsigned draft picks that aren’t already playing with their home clubs, and six additional camp invitees.

Some notable names includes the returns of Gabriel Dumont, Andrej Sustr, and Zach Bogosian! Simon Ryfors, whom fans are excited to see get a chance. AHL star Remi Elie (not Elie Remi, as the document says). And Alex Barre-Boulet getting a new number!

Yes, according to the training camp roster, Alex Barre Boulet has earned a number change from #60 to #12, indicating he’s very much in the conversation to be part of the team full time. The last player to wear #12 was obviously Ryan Malone in 2014. That number will look good on him. One first name, two last names.

Back to the roster, we’ve written T25U25 articles about most of the players at this camp, so I thought I would introduce the camp invitees instead:

Xavier Cormier (F)

Cormier is entering his overage season in the QMJHL with the Rimouski Oceanic. He was the leading scorer on the team next to first round pick Zach Bolduc. Undrafted, he’s going to get a chance in training camp this year before potentially earning himself an AHL deal on the top program for QMJHL graduates in the world*.

*Unconfirmed, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

Cormier has been lighting it up in the prospect tournament, scoring yesterday against the Florida Panthers prospects. The games have been geo-blocked so I haven’t been able to watch, but those who are watching have been very impressed with the 20-year-old.

Shawn Element (F)

QMJHL champion Shawn Element is also coming from the Lightning’s prospect tournament, but has a two-year AHL contract with the Syracuse Crunch in his pocket. He played on the fourth line and provided some oomf, but we didn’t get to see much offense from what I can tell. That’s not a problem because he’s shown his ability to score on the QMJHL’s best team and has two years of development ahead of him in the AHL starting this season. I can’t wait for the headline puns.

Ryan Jones (D)

Signed to a one-year AHL deal with the Crunch, Jones is a big, 25-year-old defenseman coming over from the Rochester Americans. We’ll see what he can do in camp, but his big moment will probably come in AHL camp. I’m curious to see where he ends up.

Wyatt McLeod (D)

McLeod is a very interesting camp invite. The 21-year-old played in the ECHL last year after a season in the WHL, but is heading back to Canada for university and is going to play in that program. If things go well for him, the Lightning will presumably keep tabs on him while he gets his education and might see a role for him sometime in the future. More likely than not this will be great experience for the big defenseman and he can take that with him into his U Sports career. At 21, he’s starting post-secondary school pretty late after five years in the WHL.

Avery Winslow (D)

A 19-year-old defenseman out of the OHL, who will be going back to his team in North Bay after this camp. He was playing top pair minutes with Alex Green at the prospect tournament this week so he’s definitely someone to watch for.

Eamon McAdam (G)

A good pro goaltender coming from the Philadelphia organization has lots of experience in the AHL and ECHL. I saw him a lot on the Toronto Marlies a couple years ago and he’s a good guy to bounce around between the ECHL and AHL. He’s unsigned as of yet, but it’s obvious the Lightning are looking at him for that fifth spot in the depth chart.

If you want to see the full camp roster, it’s in the press release linked below. Who are you excited to see this week?

The Tampa Bay Lightning prospects played a barn-burner of a game against their former roommates in Syracuse, the Florida Panthers. It was really weird seeing the tweets from this game because Grigori Denisenko played with most of the guys on the other team just last year, the coaching staffs know each other, it must’ve felt like a sibling rivalry. The Lightning ended up down 5-2 at the end of the second, but came back with six goals in the third to win 8-5. Here’s the story. [NHL dot com]

In more AHL news, the Columbus Blue Jackets have removed Zac Rinaldo from their training camp roster for failing to meet their vaccination policy. Rinaldo has spent the summer campaigning with fringe right-wing groups in Canada and refuses to get vaccinated. He is, however, allowed to join the Cleveland Monsters AHL camp for some reason.

After some digging, the AHL has no vaccination policy in place, which causes problems once you start to think about teams like the Syracuse Crunch that have made vaccinations mandatory when entering their arena.

At the very end of this article by the PHPA (Professional Hockey Players Association, covering the AHL and ECHL contracted players) there is a section on developing a vaccine policy. I think as NHL camps begin, the time to figure that out is now. [PHPA]

“No decisions have been made at the AHL or ECHL level regarding mandatory vaccines or what rules govern vaccinated and unvaccinated Players. We anticipate reconvening our AHL and ECHL Return to Play committees soon so that we can discuss all of these issues in further detail, including any AHL and ECHL Return to Play proposals.”

For me, if Rinaldo is on an NHL contract, he needs to be vaccinated or he doesn’t get paid. Those are the rules set by the league, and it’s his choice to either follow them or not have that job.

An update on waivers, looks like Jim Benning can’t wake up in the morning.