Tag: Cedrick Desjardins

Riku Helenius

Lightning to part ways with ’06 first rounder Helenius


The rise of the 21-year-old Latvian goalie Kristers Gudlevskis as well as the Lightning calling on Cedrick Desjardins while Anders Lindback and Ben Bishop dealt with injuries left their 2006 first-round pick Riku Helenius out in the cold.

Now it appears the team is ready to send Helenius packing.

Lindsay Kramer of Syracuse.com reports the Lightning put Helenius on unconditional waivers and will release him if/when he passes unclaimed at noon on Sunday. Lightning assistant general manager Julien Brisebois says they’re severing ties with Helenius for breach of contract.

Helenius found himself at the short end of the stick in the Lightning organization after the team acquired Bishop and Lindback and now with Desjardins and Gudlevskis getting looks over him, time was running out for Helenius to prove himself. He hasn’t played for Syracuse since Nov. 27.

Facing these kinds of road blocks can be frustrating and if the report is true, refusing to go down to the ECHL won’t do him any favors of landing elsewhere anytime soon.

Latvian hero Gudlevskis returns to Tampa with Lindback hurting

Kristers Gudlevskis

Fans have gotten to know Team Latvia and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect goalie Kristers Gudlevskis after his incredible performance in a 2-1 loss to Canada in the quarterfinals. Now NHL fans might get to know him a little better.

As Missy Zielinski of the Lightning site shares, coach Jon Cooper said Gudlevskis will head to Tampa instead of back to Syracuse because backup Anders Lindback health status is unknown.

Lindback has been dealing with a sprained left ankle and it came at a poor time as Ben Bishop had been dealing with an injury. At a time when Lindback could’ve shown that he too could prove reliable, he wound up out of the lineup and opened things up for Cedrick Desjardins and Gudlevskis to get the call from the AHL.

Now Gudlevskis will at least practice with the Bolts while Lindback’s ankle is figured out. With his new found celebrity thanks to his play in the Olympics, Gudlevskis could earn a bit more attention this time around.

Lightning give Cedrick Desjardins start vs. Montreal tonight

Cedrick Desjardins

Tampa Bay is going to give an old, new face a shot in goal tonight. Lightning coach Guy Boucher announced 27 year-old Cedrick Desjardins would get the call against Montreal, his former organization, tonight in Tampa.

The Lightning have had their ups and downs in goal this season and even though Anders Lindback played strong against Winnipeg on Thursday, giving Desjardins the nod allows them to see if they’ve got something with their one-time prospect. Desjardins got his only two previous NHL starts with the Lightning during the 2010-11 season after being acquired from Montreal for Karri Ramo.

Tampa’s record isn’t anything inspiring at the moment as they sit tied for 12th in the East with Buffalo and Washington, but they’re just six points back of Southeast Division leading Carolina. The Lightning hope Desjardins can give them the kind of stability out of the minors they didn’t feel they got with Dustin Tokarski.

Lightning goalie Mike Smith clears waivers, next destination AHL


When Tampa Bay put Mike Smith on waivers yesterday, you knew things were going bad for the oft-injured former starting goalie. He missed chunks of time this season, like in previous seasons, with injuries and now with Dwayne Roloson around seizing the starting job, Smith was squeezed out of the mix.

Today, Smith cleared waivers and appears headed to the AHL to join the Norfolk Admirals. While the demotion helps Norfolk as Cedrick Desjardins is hurt there, for Smith it’s a tough blow. Smith is in the final year of his contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent next year. It was thought that the Islanders might think about claiming him, but it turned out they’d had their fill with goalie waiver drama with Evgeni Nabokov and wouldn’t pursue Smith.

Smith headed into this season competing with Dan Ellis for the starting job but both goalies went through fits of inconsistency leading to the Lightning starting off slowly. Now with Roloson in place and the team on top of the Southeast Division, Smith and his slightly larger contract are destined for the AHL.

Tampa Bay tries to improve its goalie situation by trading for veteran Dwayne Roloson

New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils

Until a recent run of wins, veteran goalie Dwayne Roloson went without a win for months. Yet somehow the former Minnesota Wild netminder managed to put up pretty nice individual numbers beyond his 6-13-1 record, with a nice 91.6 save percentage and a solid 2.64 goals against average.

Apparently Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman feels that Roloson might be a diamond in the Long Island rough, being that he decided to acquire the 41-year-old goalie from the New York Islanders tonight in exchange for minor league defenseman Ty Wishart. This trade brings up two interesting thoughts.

So what now for Dan Ellis and Mike Smith?

Bringing in Rollie the Goalie means that the Lightning might face a Three’s Company scenario in net. (In fact, because of Smith’s injury, the team actually gave prospect Cedrick Desjardins some starts so they technically have four goalies on their roster at CapGeek.com right now.)

Ultimately, it’s going to come down to Ellis, Smith and Roloson as the team’s duo. Roloson ($2.5 million) and Smith ($2.2 million) are in contract years this year while Ellis ($1.5 million) will see his contract expire after the 2011-12 season. My guess is that the Lightning might be exasperated by Smith’s injury issues and inconsistency, so an Ellis-Roloson tandem would be my best bet.

If that’s true, then Smith might find himself on waivers and/or on the trading block going forward.

So much for Evgeni Nabokov

The Lightning’s struggling goalie duo (and cap space) justified the speculation that Nabokov might end up in Tampa Bay. Barring injuries or other unforeseen changes, that obviously won’t be a realistic rumor any longer. It seems like the Russian goalie will either need to root for injuries or goalie meltdowns if he thinks that he’ll play in the NHL anytime soon.


Ultimately, I think that this is a decent low-risk gamble by the Lightning. Roloson has playoff experience and an expiring deal, giving him motivation while Tampa Bay won’t have to deal with an albatross after the season. Meanwhile the New York Islanders save a little cash and get a little younger with Wyshart, who was a San Jose Sharks 2006 first round draft pick.