Slater Koekkoek starts the year in Syracuse after all

While he was listed on the opening night roster just days ago, Tampa Bay Lightning defense prospect Slater Koekkoek has indeed been re-assigned to the Syracuse Crunch, where he will begin the 2015-16 campaign presumably as one of the Crunch's go-to blue-liners.

The move leaves Nikita Nesterov as the likely healthy scratch on defense ahead of tonight's opener with the Philadelphia Flyers and Koekkoek just a short phone call and plane ride away from spot duty in the Lightning lineup. Ultimately, however, more minutes in the AHL is preferable for the organization than sitting in the pressbox at Amalie Arena.

There had been some hope that Koekkoek had done enough to start the year with the big club, but the official "opening night roster" contained a few paper transactions intended to maximize the space afforded by Matias Ohlund moving onto LTIR for the year.