Good thing the Tampa Bay Lightning added some personnel to their roster on Monday.
Just one day after the team acquired three defensemen in separate deals leading up to the NHL trade deadline, it received word that forwards Nate Thompson
and Teddy Purcell
, defenseman Brendan Mikkelson
, and assistant coach Martin Raymond would all be game-time decisions for tonight’s matchup against the Montreal Canadiens due to flu-like symptoms.
Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said Tuesday at the team’s morning skate that all four individuals felt fine as of Monday, but came down with something over night that carried into this morning, leaving them “not well at all.”
“If there was one of them who played tonight, that would be a bonus,” Boucher said. “But I’m not expecting any of them to play.”
Boucher, making light of the situation, joked with reporters and said that Raymond actually bailed from Tuesday’s skate in order to duck the large presence of traveling media from Montreal, which is in close proximity from where he, Boucher and other assistant Dan Lacroix all hail.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie joined a returning Evan Oberg on the flight to Tampa today (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)
In reality, however, with the Lightning just six points out of the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot heading into tonight, the timing of the illness that has struck certain key players is no laughing matter.
To fill the vacant spots in the lineup, several players from the organization’s top AHL affiliate in Norfolk were recalled for Tuesday’s matchup versus the Canadiens.
Funny thing is, Mike Angelidis, Trevor Smith and Evan Oberg were just sent down on Monday to clear roster space for the team’s new additions on the blue line.
Angelidis and Smith, however, didn’t get very far, as the team – upon hearing of the ill players’ situation – put in a call-up for the prospects to return to Tampa Bay before their plane back to Norfolk even left the airport.
Oberg’s flight, on the other hand, did end up making it out of town, but only to have the defenseman hop on another jet Tuesday morning to come back to the Bay Area.
Joining Oberg on the return flight to Tampa Bay was fellow prospect Pierre-Cedric Labrie, who was also recalled for tonight’s 7:30 p.m. start against the Habs.