TAMPA — Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said it wasn't an easy decision to waive veteran C Adam Hall and lose him Saturday to Southeast Division rival Carolina.
Yzerman lauded Hall, 32, part of the organization the past five seasons, as a "really good leader" and a "first-class guy."
But with C Vinny Lecavalier (lower body) hurt and Yzerman saying it was reasonable the captain could be out three weeks, the GM said he wanted to "change things up" while continuing to play some of the Lightning's younger forwards. To do so, he needed to create a roster spot, leading to Hall switching locker rooms Saturday and suiting up for the Hurricanes.
Hall had no shots, was 0-for-1 on faceoffs and minus-2 in 9:38 of ice time. He took the situation in stride, saying he had a lot of respect for the Lightning and understood it was "the business side of the game." Hall's longtime linemate, C Dana Tyrell, was called up from AHL Syracuse to fill his spot.
"Being with an organization for a long time, having such a quick change to the opposite side, down the hallway, different locker room, different colors, it's a little bit surreal," Hall said. "But it's also exciting."
With the Lightning wanting to take long looks at rookies including C Tyler Johnson and LW Ondrej Palat — each of whom picked up his first NHL goal Saturday — Hall had been a healthy scratch in six of the previous nine games.
"Adam has been great for us, had a terrific attitude, a good faceoff guy, a guy that's given us honest work every single day," coach Guy Boucher said. "It's sad to see one of those guys having to deal with that and losing that. But at the same time, there is a bigger plan."
STEPPING IN: Tyrell was excited to be back, having spent 15 games in Syracuse after starting the season with Tampa Bay.
"Obviously, this is where I want to be," he said.
Tyrell enjoyed his time with the Crunch, which he called "the tightest hockey team I've ever played on." He played more minutes in Syracuse, which he said helped his confidence in terms of carrying the puck into the zone instead of chipping it in.
Tyrell carried that over Saturday, playing 9:37 on a line with Johnson and Palat.
"That was a terrific mix," Boucher said.
TRADE TALK: With just less than three weeks before the April 3 trade deadline, Yzerman couldn't predict what he might — or might not — do. "I'm not looking to do things where I'm trading young players or draft picks for rental players," he said. "Anything that makes us a better team, not only now but in the future, I'll look at."
MEDICAL MATTERS: C Tom Pyatt (upper body) returned, pleasantly surprised he missed just one game. He played 17:06 and had four shots. "I missed him," Boucher said. "He brings that speed and relentlessness." … LW Ben Pouliot (right shoulder) skated in a red noncontact jersey but is not ready to return.
MISCELLANY: D Brian Lee, D Marc-Andre Bergeron and LW Pierre Cedric Labrie were scratched. … RW Teddy Purcell playing in his 300th career game, scored his first goal since Feb. 16: "It'll help my confidence."
Joe Smith can be reached at email@example.com.