Well, Crunch fans. We’ve been demanding moves. We wanted action. We said we needed something to happen.
It’s happened. And it’s clear that Springfield is gearing up for the playoffs while Syracuse is, in effect, waving the white flag on what has been a very frustrating season. The Columbus Blue Jackets (CBJ) organization has acquired Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina from the Tampa Bay organization in exchange for Jonathan Marchessault and Dalton Smith. It’s expected that Tyrell and Taormina are headed for the Springfield Falcons, Columbus’ AHL affiliate. Marchessault and Smith are expected to be assigned to Syracuse.
Springfield is currently second in the Eastern Conference with 74 points on the season. Syracuse is 11th with 53 points. The Falcons are clearly looking for some defensive depth to carry them into the post season. Taormina, despite his struggles with back problems, has been one of the most dependable Crunch players this year when in the line up. He has 18 points (6g; 12a) and did work on the Crunch’s special teams. Tyrell, who has struggled in the past with knee injuries but has not had many troubles this season, was also one of the more dependable players for the Crunch this year. He has 21 points (9g; 12a). Both Taormina and Tyrell were often cited by the coaching staff, their fellow players, and Crunch fans as being two of the hardest working guys on the ice every single night.
Both players have also seen time with Tampa Bay this season. Tyrell played in 7 games with the Lightning, as did Taormina. Neither registered any points during their time up.
Marchessault is 23 years old. He’s 5’9 and has played in 56 games this year for Springfield. Prior to the trade he was the Falcons’ top goal scorer with 41 points (14g; 27A). He has played in two NHL games. Both of those games occurred during the 2012-2013 season and he registered zero points in those two games.
Smith has played in 117 games with the Springfield Falcons. During those 117 games, he’s registered 18 points. However, it’s clear that Smith’s game is more on the pugilist side of things – he has 227 total penalty minutes. To put that into perspective, current Crunch player Eric Neilson has played in 71 games for Syracuse and has 235 total minutes. Philippe Paradis has played in 49 games and has 83 minutes. So, it looks like Smith is along those lines.
Marchessault is clearly the gem here for Syracuse, although one player probably won’t make too much of a difference right now. The signing of Smith, even though he is a former second-round pick, is a complete head-scratcher. Syracuse has plenty of grit in Neilson, Paradis, P.C. Labrie, and Mike Angelidis. If the over-all plan is to get Syracuse into the playoffs, I’m not really sure how Smith fits.
Also, there’s this little problem:
And now comes the emotional stuff you’ve come to expect:
To Dana and Matt: Jesus, you guys. You two were the hardest working players out there every single night. I am just…I can’t even believe it. And I wish you two both all the best. You each deserve nothing more than that. Go on and kick some ass and stay healthy. Good luck to both of you.
As rumors swirl around a possible Marty St. Louis trade in Tampa Bay, the Lightning have made a personnel switch in time for the 3 PM AHL roster deadline today.
First, the roster deadline details:
So, that means that any player not on roster, either physically or on paper, will not be eligible to play here for the rest of the season. Which brings us to this:
LIGHTNING RECALL RICHARD PANIK; REASSIGN NAMESTNIKOV TO SYRACUSE
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Richard Panik from the Syracuse Crunch, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Additionally, the club has reassigned forward Vladislav Namestnikov to the Crunch.
Panik, 23, has skated in 13 games with the Crunch this season, collecting three goals and 11 points. Two of his three goals while with the Crunch were scored on the man-advantage. The 6-foot-1, 203-pound forward represented his native Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochia, Russia. He appeared in four Olympic games for Team Slovakia.
The Martin, Slovakia native has played in 39 games with the Lightning this season, posting two goals and 11 points to go along with 15 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 64 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, over the past two seasons, recording seven goals and 20 points with 19 penalty minutes.
Panik was originally drafted by the Lightning in the second round, 52nd overall, at the 2009 NHL Draft
So, Panik will not be eligible to play for Syracuse for the rest of the regular season. He will also not be able to play for us in the playoffs, should Syracuse make it. Vladdy, however, will be eligible for both.
The Syracuse Crunch is continuing its efforts to bring back former players with the March 29th and April 5th games. Former Crunch right wing Reggie Savage will be making an appearance at the March 29th game, while former Crunch goaltender Karl Goehring will be returning to the place he both played in and coached in on April 5th. Here’s part of the team’s official release:
In conjunction with the selection of the 20th Anniversary Team, the Crunch will bring back former Crunch right wing Reggie Savage on Saturday, March 29 and goaltender Karl Goehring Saturday, April 5 to the War Memorial Arena.
Savage appeared in 166 games with the Crunch and tallied 145 points (82g; 8a) during his three seasons in 1995-1996 and 1999-2001. Goehring appeared in 177 games earning a 78-71-15 record with a 2.58 goals allowed average and .914 save percentage during his five seasons in 2001-2005 and 2007-2008. Savage and Goehring will participate in ceremonial puck drops and be available for autographs during the first intermission.
The release somehow forgot to mention the fact that Karl still holds the record for career goaltending wins with 78 between the two seasons he played here. He also was an assistant coach for the Crunch for one season, 2009-2010, and therefore was behind the bench when the Crunch hosted the first AHL Outdoor game in February of that season. The day that Karl was re-signed in 2007 is otherwise known as the day I screamed so loud China heard it, so I’m a little excited about him returning to Syracuse for the night.
I didn’t post about this yet, but another former Crunch player is scheduled to come back to the Crunch on March 22nd. Lonny Bohonos will be visiting that night and the Crunch will reportedly be wearing throwback jerseys from the franchise’s inaugural 1994-95 season, which will then be auctioned off. Bohonos registered the first goal in franchise history.
I love throwbacks, so this is exciting for me. Although, I feel like we did this once already…oh, yeah, we totally did, except they were the black away jerseys. Ah, well. That’s okay.
In addition to the players the team is bringing back, they’ve also combined forces with Upstate Medical University to let fans choose a 20th Anniversary Team. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite coaches, defensemen, tough guys, forwards, and goaltenders. Here’s the rest of the release:
Crunch and Upstate Medical University to present 20th Anniversary team
Fans to vote on best Crunch players from the franchise’s 20-year history
Syracuse, NY -The Syracuse Crunch and Upstate Medical University are teaming up to present the Upstate Medical University 20th Anniversary Team as chosen by Crunch fans. Beginning on March 3, 2014 fans will have the opportunity to vote their favorite coaches and players from the Crunch’s 20-year history onto the 20th Anniversary team.
Voting will be broken down by position with coaches, defensemen, tough guys, forwards and goalies each being featured for one week. Fans can vote for the coaches and players who will receive a position on the 20th Anniversary Team from a link on the Crunch website. The voting schedule and announcements are as follows:
Monday, March 3 – Friday, March 7 voting for coaches with the winners announced on Saturday, March 8 when the Crunch host the Rochester Americans.
Monday, March 10 – Friday, March 14 voting for defensemen with the winners announced on Saturday, March 15 when the Crunch host the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Monday, March 17 – Friday, March 21 voting for tough guys with the winners announced on Saturday, March 22 when the Crunch host the Albany Devils.
Monday, March 24 – Friday, March 28 voting for forwards with the winners announced on Saturday, March 29 when the Crunch host the Binghamton Senators.
Monday, March 31 – Friday, April 4 voting for goalies with the winners announced on Saturday, April 5 when the Crunch host the Utica Comets
There’s no word yet on what exactly this promotion is meant to do. Will any of these guys be coming back if chosen? Is it just meant a celebratory all-time roster thing? I’d assume the second, but I’m not really sure. Anyway, voting is already open for coaches. Follow this link to vote. This week you have two choices to make between the eight coaches that the Crunch has had in their 20 years. Happy voting!
It’s been announced (as expected) that Anders Lindback has been recalled from his conditioning stint with the Syracuse Crunch and that Kristers Gudlevskis has subsequently been sent down to the Crunch. Here’s the official release:
LIGHTNING RECALL G ANDERS LINDBACK FROM SYRACUSE
G Kristers Gudlevskis Returned to Crunch
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled goaltender Anders Lindback from his conditioning assignment today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. The team has also reassigned goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis to the Crunch.
Lindback, 6-foot-6, 206 pounds, was sent to Syracuse for conditioning on February 26. While with the Crunch he appeared in two games, posting a 1.54 goals-against average, a .939 save percentage and one shutout. Lindback has appeared in 18 games this season with the Lightning, posting a 5-11-1 record to go along with a 3.23 goals-against average and .880 save percentage. The goaltender hasn’t played with the Lightning since suffering a lower body injury against the Ottawa Senators on January 30.
Gudlevskis, 21, was recalled to the Lightning on February 12 while with Team Latvia at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. He dressed for his first NHL game on February 8 against the Detroit Red Wings. Gudlevskis did not see any game action during the recall, backing up Ben Bishop on four occasions. He has appeared in 22 AHL games in his first season in North America. His four shutouts lead Syracuse and are tied for second in the AHL. Gudlevskis has assembled an 11-8-2 record with a 2.69 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. He began the season with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, posting a 7-4-0 record with a 1.83 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 11 games.
Gudlevskis was drafted by the Lightning in the fifth round, 124th overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft.
Welcome back, Kristers! He return marks his first time back to Syracuse since the Olympics.
Raw Charge also covered this event. You can find their coverage here.
Over the course of the last few years, one thing around here has become glaringly apparent. When I show up, it’s an occasion. So, what’s the occasion this time? Is it railing about internet freedom, or genocide on trial? No, this time it’s actually something pertinent!
At some point this month, this place celebrated its sixth birthday, and that seemed like cause to celebrate. And, really, what’s a birthday party without someone singing about it?
Er, yes… Read the rest of this entry »
Clare Austin blogs at Puckology about hockey things, but especially about goaltending. She agreed to give her thoughts on Anders Lindback’s conditioning stint with the Crunch this weekend.
I almost don’t know how to talk about Anders Lindback these days. I suppose that I should start where I always do with Anders and that’s at the Nashville Predators development camp in 2010. It’s where I first saw him and I’ve been with him every step of the way since then. I’m probably overly attached because of that, but there ya go.
We go to these things not to see polished and mature NHL goalies but to get a sense of the development process and to see what’s coming up in the pipeline. And in my case, to see goalie coach extraordinaire Mitch Korn work his magic. I always learn something at development camp, especially in Korn’s sessions, and one of the things I learned in 2010 was that Anders Lindback was head and shoulders above his competition.
Despite his size, he was quick, he was responsive. That sort of makes him sound like a sports car, and to stretch the metaphor to the breaking point, the biggest problems he had at the time was in handling. He over corrected too often. He didn’t show a lot of those torso twists that you see sometimes with guys who have trouble controlling their momentum, but he did sometimes have trouble catching his edges. Had great posture, though.
None of these things are insurmountable and development is created for just such issues. Instead of sending Lindback to the Milwaukee Admirals, however, the Predators assigned him to the NHL club straight away. Coming straight from Sweden, he went to a place where he would get only intermittent playing time in a league he wasn’t completely ready for.
I understand, of course, that Lindback beat the competition out clean. And there’s no better situation for a goalie like Lindback to be in than working with Mitch Korn and Pekka Rinne on a daily basis. Over the next two years, Lindback got to looking more and more like Rinne on the ice. He activated his glove hand and got some control over his rebounds. He learned how to absorb and suffocate shots more and more. He even stopped overshooting his marks to an extent. His work in traffic was starting to improve. He looked good.
Then he came to Tampa.
And here’s where the shit hits the fan. Truth to tell, I’ve never felt the Lightning had any business acquiring Anders Lindback. They didn’t have the personnel or mindset to develop him right and he was in a position where getting off track developmentally could be a disaster. And it got off track within a month of the season starting. The Lightning don’t have the right coach for him and they want him to be a different goalie than he is. If I had a nickel for every report I heard about the fundamental changes they wanted him to make, I could afford one of his jerseys.
Lindback should be in the AHL. Hell, he should have been in the AHL in 2010-11. Lex asked me what I thought he needs to work on most and at this point it’s not anything specific or even reachable in a single weekend. He needs to slow the game down and reset. He needs to get off the goal line and onto his feet. He needs to stop thinking about stopping pucks and just stop pucks. He’s deeply uncomfortable with himself and his choices right now and that tension is absolutely killing him. He’s a high twitch, high reaction player for whom the extreme patience of a Henrik Lundqvist is deadly and he needs to accept that and figure out how to play to his strengths. He needs to remember who he is.
I’m hopeful that the time away over the past two weeks has helped him. I’m hopeful that he has a good weekend and comes back to Tampa rejuvenated. If I’m absolutely honest, I hope he shows fans that responsive, reactive, quick player I saw in 2010. But at this point, I have no idea what to expect from him. Good luck, Lindy. I’m pulling for you.
So…this just happened:
LIGHTNING RECALL VLADISLAV NAMESTNIKOV, REASSIGN ANDERS LINDBACK TO SYRACUSE FOR CONDITIONING
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Vladislav Namestnikov from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Additionally, the team has assigned goaltender Anders Lindback to the Crunch for conditioning.
Namestnikov, 21, made his NHL debut with the Lightning on February 8 against the Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay’s last game before the Olympic Break. He has skated in 36 games this season with Syracuse, posting 15 goals and 34 points to go along with 21 penalty minutes. He ranks first on the team for points and is tied for first for assists. The Zhukovskiy, Russia native also ranks tied for first on the Crunch for power-play goals with six. The 6-foot, 183-pound forward has skated in 80 career AHL games over the past two seasons, all with the Crunch, recording 22 goals and 55 points.
He was originally drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 27th overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft.
Lindback, 25, has appeared in 18 games this season with the Lightning, posting a 5-11-1 record to go along with a 3.23 goals-against average and .880 save percentage. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound goaltender hasn’t played since suffering a lower body injury against the Ottawa Senators on January 30. The Gavle, Sweden native has appeared in six career AHL games, all with the Milwaukee Admirals, posting a 3-3-0 record.
Here’s my reaction:
My friend, Chuk Styles, had a very similar (read: identical) reaction.
Clare Austin, who I trust with all my goaltending needs, had the following to say:
I’ll have more from Clare in a bit, for those unfamiliar with Lindback. Lindback has struggled this year, both in the net and with injuries. Hopefully we can help get him back on track. Also, hopefully he can help keep US on track, as Syracuse managed to string two wins together in a row this past weekend for the first time since the middle of January.
Because this is just a conditioning assignment, he can be here for up to two weeks. But, it might not even be that long. Here’s what Syracuse.com/Crunch had to say on the topic:
Tampa Bay assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said Lindback is scheduled play for the Crunch at home Friday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and then at Adirondack on Sunday.
If all goes well, BriseBois said. Lindback will rejoin the Lightning after the weekend. Presumably, goalie Kristers Gudlevskis would then return from Tampa Bay to the Crunch.
Tampa Bay probably also doesn’t want to bench regular Syracuse goalie Cedrick Desardins for too long, as the goalie has been playing well this month.
Although not included in this release because it was a Tampa Bay report, it’s also been reported that goalie Allen York, who shutout the Hershey Bears this past Saturday, has been released from his contract with the Crunch. Here’s the release from the Crunch that confirms that report. It also also talks about the signing of defenseman Dan Milan:
Dan Milan comes to Crunch, Allen York released
Syracuse, NY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned defenseman Dan Milan to the Syracuse Crunch from the Brampton Beast of the Central Hockey League, Crunch General Manager Julien BriseBois announced today. Additionally, the Crunch have released goaltender Allen York from his professional tryout contract.
Milan, 21, has appeared in 42 games with the Beast this season posting eight points (2g, 6a). The 6-foot-3, 190 pound defenseman also appeared in three games with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. Milan spent the 2012-13 season with the Everblades appearing in 43 games while collecting nine points (2g, 7a). Prior to joining the Everblades, Milan played 130 contests in the QMJHL, amassing 49 points (16g, 33a) with Moncton and Victoriaville. The Detroit, MI native was signed as a free agent on Sept. 23, 2011. Milan is expected to be available this weekend.
York, 24, signed a PTO on Feb. 1 and has appeared in four games with the Crunch this season, posting a record of 1-2-1 with one shutout. He registered a 2.92 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. York has also appeared in 16 games with five other teams (3 AHL, 2 ECHL) this season. The 6-foot-3, 194 pound goaltender from Wetaskiwin, Alberta played in eight AHL games with Rockford, Texas and Charlotte posting a 3-2-0-2 record with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. In the ECHL, York appeared in six games with Evansville and most recently two games with South Carolina posting a 4-4-0-0 record with a 3.72 goals-against average and a .873 save percentage. The goaltender is a veteran of 24 ECHL games, 40 AHL games and 11 NHL games.
On the other front, here’s some speculation on the Vladdy recall:
Finally, we haven’t seen Geoff Walker in a while. Here’s why.