It looks as if the Lightning are making moves in order to ensure that they are prepared when they take on the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today via the Lightning’s Official Site that the organization has recalled center Vladislav Namestnikov from the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.
This move was made in light of the injury sustained by Lightning center Valtteri Filppula late in the third period last night as the Tampa Bay Lightning were defeated by the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1. Filppula sustained a Non-Displaced Ankle Fracture, and will be forced to miss at least 3 weeks while he recovers. Unfortunately, this also means that he was not able to make the trip to Sochi to represent Team Finland in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
If you are anything like me, while certainly wish that this was under different circumstances, it will be exciting to see what Namestnikov has to offer. He has been the talk of the Bolts Nation the Lightning acquired him back in 2011.
This season, he has skated in 31 games with the Syracuse Crunch. In that time, he has scored 13 goals and 17 assists for a total of 30 points. This puts Namestnikov in a three way tie with Cedric Paquette and Brett Connolly for the most points on the team.
He is currently in second place on the Crunch in goals, topped only by Paquette.
It will be interesting to see what Namestnikov can do on the big stage. Should he play in Saturday night’s game against the Red Wings, this will be his NHL debut. He will join the likes of so many young rookies on the team like Radko Gudas, Tyler Johnson, J.T. Brown, Nikita Kucherov, and so many more that have made the jump before him. If nothing else, I am sure that the 6 foot tall, 183 pound Voskresensk, Russia native will put on one heck of a show in front of the hometown crowd.