The Tampa Bay Lightning claimed (now-former) New York Islanders goalie prospect Kevin Poulin off of waivers on Sunday, according to New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
Injuries opened up an obvious need at the backup position for the Lightning, at least in the short-to-medium term. Andrei Vasilevskiy is out after vascular surgery, while Kristers Gudlevskis was dealing with some bumps and bruises himself.
The biggest loser of this move might just be Ray Emery; the veteran goalie is battling for a gig in Lightning training camp.
Poulin, 25, found himself in limbo with the Islanders, as Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss seemed firmly in place for the near future.
He still needs to make an impression sooner rather than later, but this move makes plenty of sense for just about everyone involved.
One other thing to possibly note, by the way:
Update: Yes, indeed this was bad news for Emery.
According to Dr. Karl Illig the type of thoracic outlet syndrome, which led Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to undergo vascular surgery on Thursday, isn’t typically found in hockey players.
The Bolts announced on Friday that Vasilevskiy would require two-to-three months of recovery time before returning to action.
“It’s unusual,” said Dr. Illig, who performed Vasilevskiy’s surgery at Tampa General Hospital. “It’s something that’s most often seen in baseball pitchers, swimmers, and tennis players. But certainly, if you’re an athlete and muscular, it becomes much more likely.”
The surgery, which was performed on the 21-year-old, has a high success rate when the thoracic outlet syndrome is diagnosed early.
“It leads to really long life success, a normal life, in 95 percent of people,” said Illig. “We’ve had pro pitchers thorwing 95 miles per hour, a Division II multiple national champion swimmer, and All American college skiier. I’d say 90-95 percent of people get back to a high level of athlete.”
Vasilevskiy made 16 appearances with the Lightning last season posting a 7-5-1 record to go along with a 2.36 G.A.A. and a .918 save percentage.
It remains to be seen if Phil Kessel can silence his critics with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he’s doing his part to put work ethic murmurs to bed.
Despite making scores of defensemen look foolish (and sometimes winded) with his immensely underrated foot-speed, people have railed on the sniper for “not looking like an athlete.” Maybe that will remain the case, but he’s dropped 13 lbs. this summer, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Dreger notes that Kessel lost the weight after going through Gary Roberts’ vaunted off-season plan, which drew rave reviews from players such as Steven Stamkos over the years.
So, with that, where are we at on the list of Kessel beefs? (Sifts through “doesn’t play defense” and “is bad with the media.”)
Then again, there’s always the Kyle Wellwood corollary: what if he’s better off with a little extra beef?