The good news for Trevor Carrick was that he was able to collect a couple of days pay at the NHL level and enjoyed some first-class accommodations in Columbus and Pittsburgh. The bad news is that he didn’t get to play in a game for the Tampa Bay Lightning during his brief recall to the team over the weekend.
With Ian Cole returning from his suspension, the Lightning are back up to the seven defensemen they intended to start the season with and Carrick is back on his way to Syracuse where he should join the team for practice prior to their weekend home-and-home series with the Rochester Americans.
Carrick had been recalled on Friday as insurance for the Lightning’s back-to-back games against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins. They were running with just six blueliners as Cole served his suspension. With room in the salary cap thanks to the players on Long Term Injured Reserve, the Bolts don’t have to run the risk of throwing only five defensemen on the ice if one was to be hurt as they did last season in Los Angeles when they had to play with just four d-men in one game.
If Cole does return to the line-up on Tuesday in the Lightning’s home opener, it’s likely that Haydn Fleury will be the seventh defenseman. In the three games he’s appeared in, Fleury has picked up one assist, but has played solid third-pair minutes with Philippe Myers. The duo has been on the ice for 35 minutes at 5v5 and posted strong numbers in shot attempts (70.59% CF%), expected goals (67.24% xGF), and actual goals (2 goals for, 1 goal against). Coach Cooper has given them some protected starts as the two have only been on the ice for one defensive zone draw compared to eight in the offensive zone and eight in the neutral zone. Still, they had done their job in limited time.
Meanwhile, Carrick will likely slot into the top-four when he returns to a Crunch team that allowed nine goals in two shootout losses to the Cleveland Monsters this weekend. Stay tuned for more on their performance in our Crunch Wrap later today.
Lightning / NHL News:
Ian Cole reinstated from suspension [Raw Charge]
After a week-long investigation, the NHL reported that they “found no evidence to substantiate the allegations”. It is expected that Cole will be back in the line-up this week.
For Lightning’s Hadyn Fleury, clear head means everything [Tampa Bay Times]
Following the death of a childhood friend, Fleury has tried to use his status as an NHL player to help raise mental health awareness, often by speaking about his own struggles.
Capitals sign Sonny Milano to one-year deal [Washington Hockey Now]
Despite putting up 34 points [14 goals, 20 assists) in Anaheim last year, Milano didn’t find any takers in free agency. He has rectified that situation, officially signing a one-year, $750,000 contract with the Washington Capitals. He’s been put on waivers with the intention of being sent to the Hershey Bears in the AHL.
The silver lining in the injury to goaltender Matt Murray is that the Leafs can put him on Long Term Injury Relief which opens up some cap space for them to recall some depth players. Wayne Simmonds, Nick Robertson, and Victor Mete were called back to the big club which was in need of some depth since they were rolling with only 20 players.