Sunday, December 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

Conacher over shock of trade from Lightning to Senators

TAMPA — How did Cory Conacher learn he was traded from the Lightning to the Senators? A reporter from Canada's Rogers Sportsnet called for a comment.

"That's when I got the shock," Conacher said. "I was like, 'Give me a couple of minutes.' "

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman called shortly thereafter and apologized for not telling him first he was swapped for G Ben Bishop. Conacher said there are no hard feelings.

"That's how the media is these days. They're quick on things," he said Tuesday. "Tampa is a very loyal and honest organization. I have to thank them for everything they've done for me."

Conacher who has a goal and is plus-3 in three games for Ottawa — he had one shot in 15:46 of ice time against the Lightning — said facing his former teammates for the first time would be "weird."

"You're playing against guys you've built great relationships with, guys you don't want to hurt or hit in a game, but you have to," he added. "I have to finish checks and play the same way."

Conacher, 23, a rookie of the year candidate, entered Tuesday leading all rookies with 15 assists, second with 25 points and third with 10 goals. He was the AHL's most valuable player in 2011-12 when he helped lead Norfolk to the Calder Cup title.

Not bad for a player the Lightning signed as an undrafted free agent.

"This was one of those hockey trades," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who had Conacher at Norfolk and Syracuse. "It helped both teams. I don't think there will be a, per se, loser out of that trade. I think it was a win-win, but it hurts, especially guys who you've won with before."

MALONE back: Ryan Malone, who missed eight games with a left shoulder injury, played against the Senators and had a shot, a hit and two blocked shots in 15:43 of ice time.

Malone was injured March 18 when run over by Flyers pest Zac Rinaldo. Malone did not see him coming and Rinaldo was not penalized.

"It's one of those plays where some guys will hit you and some guys won't," Malone said. "He's one of those guys who will hit you. That's what he does."

LINDBACK UPDATE: G Anders Lindback participated in his first morning skate since sustaining a high ankle sprain March 20 at Toronto and said he has no limitations.

"We need to see him," Cooper said. "He's a huge part of our future. People think, 'Well, you traded for Bishop.' To me, it's 1A and 1A, so they need to get in there. They need to talk about the game. That's all from playing."

MORE INJURIES: D Victor Hedman (lower body) likely will be out at least through Thursday's game with the Penguins, Cooper said. … RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie (upper body) played after missing five games.

NEW FACE: D Mark Barberio, called up from Syracuse, played his first NHL game and had one shot, four giveaways and was minus-1 in 14:12 of ice time, 3:55 on the power play.

The promotion seemed a long time coming for Barberio, 23, who had eight goals, 40 points and was plus-7 this season for the Crunch, and last season for AHL Norfolk was named the league's best defenseman.

Barberio, though, said the wait was not difficult because Yzerman and Syracuse GM Julien BriseBois were "straightforward with me from the start. When guys got called up, guys in Syracuse were happy for the guys to get a chance to play. We're always watching the TV, cheering them on."

ODDS AND ENDS: Tampa Bay is 3-for-9 on the power play its past two games after going 0-for-10 in its first two games under Cooper. … The Lightning is on a 5-0-1 streak at home. … The Senators have lost five straight. … Former Lightning captain Rob Zamuner was honored as part of the team's 20th anniversary celebration. … Forwards Dana Tyrell, Ben Pouliot and Tom Pyatt were scratched.

Comments

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

Lightning trying to replace ‘heart and soul’ Ryan Callahan

With veteran wing Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks with an upper body injury, the natural question is who will fill his shoes?"I don't know if anyone can," coach Jon Cooper said.That's not to say the Lightning (26-6-2) can't win without Callahan....
Updated: 10 hours ago
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch has won 10 straight after Friday’s victory over Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental league, the ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Published: 12/15/17
When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think you’ve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Center Brayden Point is the Lightning’s calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Point’s soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "I’ve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Published: 12/15/17
Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

Ryan Callahan injury makes Lightning win ‘bittersweet’

The Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Coyotes Thursday night still featured the usual post-game music in the dressing room.But there was more of a somber tone with veteran right wing Ryan Callahan's right arm in a sling. Callahan, who got hurt on a na...
Published: 12/15/17
Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

Lightning routs Coyotes for sixth straight win

GLENDALE, Ariz. — As much as the Lightning has been rolling, it remembered how it lost twice last season to the Coyotes.That included blowing a one-goal third-period lead at home down the stretch, with Tampa Bay missing the playoffs by a point."You l...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17
Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev earns more minutes, praise

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the dynamic Lightning defenseman. They both were top 10 picks in 2016, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in th...
Published: 12/14/17
Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev earning trust – and more minutes with Lightning

Coyotes center Clayton Keller is very familiar with fellow rookie Mikhail Sergachev, the Lightning defenseman.They both were picked in the top-10 of the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller at No. 7 and Sergachev No. 9 to Montreal. They faced each other in three w...
Published: 12/14/17