Crazy run of injures has Bolts digging deep into depth chart

Ravaged by injury at forward, Tampa Bay is relying more than ever on its AHL affiliate in Syracuse.

On Monday, the club announced that Joel Vermin and Yanni Gourde have been recalled from the Crunch.

(Yes, those are real names.)

They’ve been brought up with three of Tampa Bay’s most important forwards out injured: Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Jonathan Drouin.

Johnson, who missed Saturday’s game against Washington, is expected to miss at least three more with what’s been classified as a re-aggravation of his upper-body injury. It’s the same ailment that hampered him throughout November.

Palat, who only recent returned from an ankle injury that cost him five weeks, re-injured the ankle against the Caps (when T.J. Oshie fell and landed on him) and is currently listed as day-to-day.

Drouin, who like Johnson missed this weekend’s tilt against Washington, is dealing with a lower-body injury.  Drouin had previously missed 11 games with an “undisclosed” injury, suffered in late October.

As if losing the services of those three wasn’t enough, Tampa Bay is also without the services of depth forwards Cedric Paquette (upper body) and Erik Condra (lower body).

With all these guys out, head coach Jon Cooper has been forced to go with a number of different lineups recently.

Vermin has appeared in five games, while Gourde has yet to make his NHL debut; the Bolts have also dressed the likes of Mike Blunden, Jonathan Marchessault and Tye McGinn.

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