Lightning Round: Could we see a call-up or two due to the Lightning’s busy schedule?
It could be time for a NHL debut or two over the next month or so
The rest break is over and it’s time for the Tampa Bay Lightning to get down to playing some hockey. As we mentioned last week, there is a metric ton of hockey on the way for the Lightning. They won’t have more than a day off between games until the end of March while enduring four more back-to-backs by that time.
It will be up to Coach Cooper and his staff to figure out how to manage the players time on the ice. The multiple back-to-backs will get Brian Elliott into games on a regular basis, but what will he do for the skaters? Will we see the occasional call-up to spell a bottom-six forward or defender?
So far the Bolts haven’t made that many roster moves this season. Outside of a paper transaction for Nick Perbix during the break and sending Rudy Balcers to Syracuse once he was healthy, they haven’t made a move since December when Philippe Myers and Cole Koepke were sent down. Relative good health among the players, along with a tight salary cap have limited their moves. Also, for the most part, the roster they have in Tampa has played pretty well.
Once the trade deadline is over, if the Lightning still have the cap room available they would be able to expand their roster to more than 23 players. Could some of their players down in Syracuse see a one or two game look at the NHL level? Lucas Edmonds and Simon Ryfors are two players that come to mind as they could be in competition for roster spots next season. Perhaps another look for Koepke or Alex Barre-Boulet? Maybe Darren Raddysh can come up for some time as an acknowledgement of the 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) he’s put up for the Crunch.
With Syracuse well on their way to the playoffs in the tough AHL North, any call-ups aren’t likely to stick with the big club, but a look or two wouldn’t be the worst thing for the prospects.
Of course, things could change depending on what happens at the deadline, but it is something to look forward to over the next few weeks.
Lightning / NHL News
How will the Tampa Bay Lightning respond to Toronto’s trade [Daily Face-off]
The headline is a tad misleading, it’s more of a primer on the Lightning heading into the deadline. That’s because the answer is obvious, JBB is going to focus on his team, not what other teams are doing.
Lightning GM tempers trade expectations, should we believe him? [Lightning Insider]
Maybe? While I always believe a GM should be the best liar in the organization, sometimes telling the truth is the right play as well. It’s unlikely there is a single GM out there that is going to let JBB off easy on a trade and he may not have the assets to pull off a deal this season.
Question Island, Aussie Games, Eurotrip, and More [The Fourth Period]
David Pagnotta is a bit hit or miss with rumors and behind the scenes info, but he’s right enough that it’s worth reading. He’s heard that an outdoor ice battle in Florida is not happening next season (boo). It’s not off the table for the future, it just won’t be the immediate future.
NHL and CHL have to fix their player agreements [The Cannon]
It’s a predicament we’re seeing more of lately it seems, a player is too good for junior hockey, but not good enough for the NHL. They’re also not old enough for the AHL. Think of the Shane Wright situation in Seattle this season. The Cannon considers an exceptional player agreement, similar to the one the CHL uses to bring really good, young players into their league early.
1993. Wayne Gretzky facing-off against his brother Brent in the only game they played against each other. Wayne won the face-off and edged his brother Brent in career points 2857 to 4. 😁#HockeyTwitterpic.twitter.com/8wqI2ksEek— The Hockey Samurai 侍 (@hockey_samurai) February 20, 2023