The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled defensemen Andrej Sustr ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. Andrej Sustr was originally signed by the Lightning as an NCAA free agent out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha at the end of the 2012-13 season. He spent parts of six seasons in the Lightning organization before spending a year in the Anaheim Ducks organization and two years in the KHL playing for Kunlun Red Star. The Lightning signed Sustr to a one-year, two-way contract this past offseason to serve as a depth defenseman.
Sustr got some time early in the season while the Lightning were dealing with injuries to Zach Bogosian and Erik Cernak. He has played in 13 games and recorded one goal and one point. He has also appeared in 25 games for the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL recording two goals and 12 points.
The Lightning have continued to deal with injuries on the right side with Zach Bogosian being injured again after a short return to the ice. Darren Raddysh filled in for a couple games in February when Bogosian and Cernak were both injured. With Cernak back in the line-up, Raddysh has shuttled up and down a few times as the 7th defenseman.
With Bogosian still injured and with Cernak back in the line-up, it’s Sustr’s turn to serve as the 7th defenseman. Because Bogosian was placed on Long Term Injured Reserve, the Lightning got salary cap relief for his cap hit and that has allowed the Lightning to bring up Sustr and Raddysh freely as needed.
The Lightning play the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night and then will head to Nashville on Saturday for the outdoor game. The outdoor game and how special it is makes me wonder if that played a role in calling up Sustr over Raddysh this time. Sustr’s long stint with the organization means he has relationships with a majority of the Lightning’s current roster that pre-date this season, especially his well documented friendship with Alex Killorn. Calling him up now and leaving him on the roster at least through this weekend means that Sustr will get to experience all of the fun and events leading up to the outdoor game.
And maybe we’ll get some candid behind the scenes photography from him over the weekend.