Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois confirms backup goaltender

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Julien BriseBois has confirmed that goaltender Curtis McElhinney will be the goaltender backing up Andrei Vasilevskiy in the 2019-20 season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning has more than their fair share of goaltenders at their disposal. After trading Ryan Callahan to the Ottawa Senators yesterday morning, the Lightning acquired goaltender Mike Condon. This gave the Lightning a whopping four goaltenders next season.

Obviously, only two of them would be able to remain on the roster next season. The question became, what did this mean for the four goaltenders in question? Obviously, Andrei Vasilevskiy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. After signing a huge $76 million deal with the Bolts, Vasilevskiy will be in Lightning Blue until the conclusion of the 2027-28 season.

So, this leaves us with Louis Domingue, Curtis McElhinney, and Mike Condon. Given the way he performed last season when Andrei Vasilevskiy went down with an injury, it would be hard to fathom the Lightning moving someone like Louis Domingue before the start of the coming season.

Surprisingly enough, this seems to be exactly what is happening. Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Julien BriseBois said in an interview the team is actively shopping for a new team for Louis Domingue in the coming season.

Initially, this move made absolutely no sense to me. Admittedly, this could have a lot to do with my respect for the way Domingue played last season. However, after listening to what BriseBois had to say, my underlying suspicions were confirmed.

According to BriseBois, the move is being set into motion in order to give Louis Domingue an opportunity to have more time on the ice. Considering the way Domingue performed last season, it would be hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve it.

Regrettably, with a player like Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes, it will be increasingly difficult to guarantee any real playing time for Louis Domingue. At just 27-years-old, Domingue has all the time in the world left to make his mark in the NHL. Despite how well he performed for the Lightning last season, it would be unfair to keep him tied down somewhere he won’t have a real opportunity to shine.

BriseBois went on to say that Mike Condon will be making his way to Syracuse to join the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. There, he will have an opportunity to play alongside Scott Wedgewood in net next season.

Condon has had more than his fair share of injury issues, much like Ryan Callahan, which have taken a toll on his playing career. Being picked up by a team like the Tampa Bay Lightning and being afforded the opportunity to work on his game and truly develop himself back into the player he once was could be the best thing for him.

The good news here is the Bolts Nation now knows exactly how things should be playing out as the team gets ready to start the 2019-20 season. Regrettably, this also means Lightning fans will have to prepare themselves to bid farewell to Louis Domingue in the coming weeks.

There is no definitive timeline in which a deal for Louis Domingue may come into fruition, but one could easily imagine this is something BriseBois will want to handle as soon as possible so he can focus on other pressing matters. You know…like signing Brayden Point.

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It’s definitely going to be a bumpy ride for Bolts fans over the next few weeks. There is still plenty of work to be done and more than a few moves to be made before the Lightning hits the ice for the 2019-20 season. Here’s hoping the Bolts Nation can keep from having an anxiety attack in the meantime. No promises on that one, though.