TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned defenseman Brian Lee to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Lee, 26, has skated in 22 games for the Lightning this season, recording 16 penalty minutes. Lee ranks fifth on the club in hits with 49 and sixth with 28 blocked shots. The Moorhead, Minnesota native has appeared in 209 career NHL games, collecting five goals and 36 points with 124 penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound defenseman has played in 123 career AHL games, all with the Binghamton Senators, recording eight goals and 52 points.
Lee was originally acquired by the Lightning from the Ottawa Senators on February 26, 2012 in exchange for Matt Gilroy.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning named Jon Cooper the eighth head coach in franchise history today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Cooper joins the Lightning after having spent the previous three seasons behind the bench of Tampa Bay’s top minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals from 2010-12 and this season with the Syracuse Crunch, compiling a 133-62-26 (.661) record in 221 AHL games. Cooper will coach his first game for the Lightning on Friday night versus the New Jersey Devils. Effective immediately, Syracuse assistant Rob Zettler takes over as the head coach of the Crunch while Martin Raymond will join Zettler as an assistant. Dan Lacroix and Steve Thomas will remain behind the bench for tomorrow night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, then continuing as Cooper’s assistants with the Lightning.
“We are very pleased to introduce Jon as our head coach today,” Yzerman said. “He has had success at every level he has coached and is extremely familiar with our organization, as well as our players. He has a tremendous record at all levels and we feel he is ready to make the move to the NHL.”
“There is no other team in hockey that I would rather be coaching than the Tampa Bay Lightning,” said Cooper upon accepting the position. “It’s quite a tribute to Steve Yzerman, Jeff Vinik and the organization they are building that they are proud to promote from within. I look forward to getting to know the players and getting to work right away.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled goaltender Cedrick Desjardins from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Desjardins, 27, has appeared in 28 AHL games this season with the Syracuse Crunch and Hamilton Bulldogs, compiling a record of 11-5-2 with a 2.70 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. Since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens on February 14, Desjardins has notched a record of 4-2-0 with a 1.85 goals-against average and .928 save percentage including two shutouts with Syracuse. The 6-foot, 192-pound goaltender posted back-to-back shutouts with the Crunch on February 23 and 24. He ranks tied for fifth in the AHL in shutouts.
The Edmundston, New Brunswick, native has played in two career NHL games, both with the Lightning during the 2010-11 season, picking up a pair of victories while recording a 1.00 goals-against average and .968 save percentage.
What to expect from Desjardins:
Guy Boucher often talks of compete-levels, and there aren’t many goalies out there above Desjardins’ in that category.
For the second time in two days, the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled one of their top prospects from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.
On Sunday, the Bolts announced that center/winger Alex Killorn would join the NHL club for his NHL debut against the New York Rangers. Killorn had an assist and played well in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers.
On Monday, the NHL club put forward Ryan Malone on injured reserve and called-up second year pro Richard Panik. The Slovakian winger is expected to make his NHL debut at home against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.
Panik is second on the Crunch in goals with 21 and fourth in points with 35 in 43 games. His plus-19 rating is tied for second on the club and third in the league. He sits fourth in the AHL in goals.
He is a logical replacement for Malone, who plays a power forward role with the big club. Panik is a skill forward in a power forward’s body and exhibits a power forward’s mentality in traffic. While listed at 6-1, his strength is impressive as players frequently bounce off him when trying to make a hit. He’s not shy about dropping the gloves and he’s already blown last year’s penalty minute total of 62 out of the water (79).
If Lightning prospect Alex Killorn makes his NHL debut today for Tampa Bay as expected, it will mark 2,060 days from his draft day to debut.
The Lightning play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Killorn, a 2007 third round pick of the Bolts, was scratched last night by the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, leading to speculation he will be recalled by the Lightning for the first time in his career.
Syracuse Post-Standard Crunch reporter Lindsay Kramer confirmed with Killorn after the game that he was headed to the big show.
"It's a really good feeling. You don't know when it's going to come,'' Killorn told Kramer, who also reported Killorn’s mother cried when the 23-year-old Montreal native told her the news.
Killorn is a rookie in the AHL though he finished last season with the Norfolk Admirals upon graduating from Harvard University. Killorn graduated from Harvard and won an AHL championship within a few weeks of each other.
His mother likely cried then, too.