In light of the injury to team captain Martin St. Louis, the Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Brett Connolly from the Syracuse Crunch. Connolly, you might remember, had a terrific preseason for the Lightning and his demotion to the Crunch came as a shock to many.
In three games with the Crunch this season and has registered just one assist. The Lightning are hoping he returns to his preseason form when he suits up in Bolt blue against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
All indications now point to St. Louis being rested against the Wild. St. Louis suffered a foot injury on Tuesday night when he went down to block a shot by Drew Doughty.
It’s unclear where Connolly will be inserted into the lineup. He could be slotted into St. Louis’s spot on the top line, but it’s more likely that Teddy Purcell will take that spot, and Connolly will play wing on either the second or third line.
Another important thing to consider is Connolly was originally demoted by the Lightning in favor of keeping the Tyler Johnson/Richard Panik/Ondrej Palat line fully intact. That line has since been broken up, so Connolly’s call-up is likely to serve as a tryout. There are no guarantees on who will be returned to the AHL when St. Louis is ready to play.
The Bolts could wait to make their decision on who will returned to the AHL until after Tom Pyatt recovers from a broken collar bone. Coach Jon Cooper said last week he expects Pyatt’s return to be somewhere around Thanksgiving.