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?
The injury news isn’t all bad for the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday.
While it’s disappointing to hear that rising goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will be sidelined for two-to-three months, breakthrough star forward Tyler Johnson seems to be healing up quite well.
In fact, GM Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith that Johnson will be “ready to go” for training camp after suffering from a broken right wrist during the 2015 playoffs.
The 25-year-old topped all Lightning scorers with 72 points in 77 regular season games and maintained that momentum through the postseason.
It did seem like his game slowed a bit during the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, and many believe that wrist injury explains the drop-off. With Steven Stamkos’ contract situation in flux, the Lightning will lean on Johnson quite a bit in 2015-16, so this update is a nice boost for the Bolts.
Lightning training camp begins on Sept. 17, so we’ll see if there are any setbacks for Johnson or other players.
More on Tyler Johnson: He’s under pressure.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced some tough news on Friday: promising goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will miss two-to-three months after getting a blood clot removed from an area near his left collarbone.
The team revealed that he was being treated for a type of “Vascular Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.”
You can read up on the ailment at Vascular Web, but here’s a quick rundown of what the 21-year-old netminder might be going through:
Your thoracic outlet is a small space just behind and below your collarbone. The blood vessels and nerves that serve your arm are located in this space. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) is the presence of hand and arm symptoms due to pressure against the nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet area.
The Lightning seemed comfortable at least leaving the door slightly ajar for Vasilevskiy to push Ben Bishop for starts, even with the latter commanding a $6 million salary cap hit and some pretty nice accomplishments over the last two seasons. That tug-of-war is obviously on pause for the moment.
It’s a tough setback for the 19th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, but one hopes that it won’t be a problem that arises again.
On the bright side, Bishop seems to be over his own injury issues:
The Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith believes that the Lightning might make a signing to deal with Vasilevskiy’s absence, even with promising prospect Kristers Gudlevskis waiting in the wings. Perhaps giving Gudlevskis a little taste of the NHL would be wiser, though?