Slater Koekkoek reassigned to AHL Syracuse
Defenseman Slater Koekkoek, a healthy scratch the first three games, was reassigned to AHL Syracuse Wednesday.
Matt Taormina has been called up, and is expected to be available for Thursday's game against the Avalanche.
This appears like a move to give Koekkoek a chance to play. Despite making his first opening night roster, the former first-round pick hasn't appeared in the last four games, including the preseason finale. Nikita Nesterov has been the sixth defenseman.
And with the Lightning playing just two games in the next five days, this gives Koekkoek an opportunity to get top minutes for the Crunch this weekend. Coach Jon Cooper had said today with the Lightning winning three straight to start the season, "there hasn't been much reason to change things up."
"We'll find a way to get guys in," Cooper said. "It's tough the beginning of the year, because we haven't had the back to backs. Not that you want back to backs. But we've played fairly well, actually we've played better than fairly well. There are a lot of games coming up on the road trip, five games in eight days, so I'd imagine our lineup will change."
It wouldn't be surprising to see Koekkoek recalled next week, when the Lightning plays Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.
Koekkoek appeared to take his lack of starts in stride.
"Obviously everyone wants to play, right?" Koekkoek said. "We're winning, so that's the main thing."