Lightning recalls Erik Condra
Erik Condra's Saturday night was already pretty great, having scored the winner with 1.9 second left to lift AHL Syracuse into first place.
But it got even better post-game, when Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois told the 30-year-old he'd be heading back to the NHL. Condra was called up Monday as a few forwards were banged up and considered game-time decisions against the Predators.
"It's good to see everybody," Condra said.
Condra admits he was stunned to be one of the last cuts in training camp, having to clear waivers before getting sent to the AHL for the first time since 2010-11. GM Steve Yzerman said it was partly a salary-cap related move, allowing the team to bury $950,00 of Condra's salary in Syracuse.
"I didn't know it was going to happen," Condra said. "But with the cap league and a cap sport, sometimes things like that happen. You can't go with your head down, you go down there and improve your game, knowing that things will work itself out."
Condra played well in Syracuse, with three goals and six assists in 13 games.
"When you play more, play 20 minutes, you get into a groove," Condra said. "You feel confident. The more you play, the easier the game seems to be."
Condra, one of the last players on the ice at this morning's skate, may not play tonight. And he doesn't know how long he'll stay in the NHL. But coach Jon Cooper said Condra "earned his way back."
"He's the consummate pro," Cooper said. He didn't hang his head, he went down there and was a big part of why Syracuse has been on a roll. We're glad to have him back."
More from morning skate: C Brian Boyle, who missed Saturday's game with an upper body injury and didn't practice Sunday, participated in the morning skate and could play tonight. C Brayden Point sported a full cage mask a couple days after having to get 30 stitches above his lip during Saturday's game, when his visor cut him. "That's the unwritten rule in hockey, you wouldn't sit out for a cut lip," Point said. In good news for Point, the Lightning told the rookie last week that he can start looking for a place to live in Tampa and move out of the hotel. He's sticking around. "That's obviously awesome," Point said.."But it's one step. Just got to keep working hard." Birthday boy Ben Bishop, who turned 30 today, will start in net... D Anton Stralman skated wtih the team for the second straight day, still in a red non contact jersey. Stralman has missed the last four games after tearing a muscle taking a shot late in Nov. 12 game against San Jose. "It's still not there obviously," Stralman said. "But it's getting better." RW J.T. Brown said he and former Lightning teammate Radko Gudas shared a good laugh about their fight in Saturday's game. "It's always a weird situation," Brown said. "That's why hockey is a different sport than anything else. You punch your friend and right after you're in the box laughing about it. I told him it's been a long way since he was protecting me back when we were playing."