Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning, Canadiens swap AHL goalies

TAMPA — It wasn't long ago that Dustin Tokarski was the Lightning's top goaltending prospect, with the NHL in his future.

But Tokarski was traded Thursday to the Canadiens for G Cedrick Desjardins, with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman saying he was not satisfied with Tokarski or Riku Helenius, Tokarski's teammate at AHL Syracuse, as the organization's No. 3 goalie.

"In the event we needed to recall a goalie due to injury, we weren't comfortable with our options," Yzerman said. "With Cedrick, we're more comfortable. … He's ready to do that."

That is a stinging rebuke of Tokarski and Helenius, who have combined for a 2.73 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage while going 27-16-4 but losing eight of their past 11 games.

Tokarski, a 2008 fifth-round draft pick and in the final year of his contract, is 18-8-4 with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. Helenius has a one-way contract in 2013-14 that pays $650,000.

"Our goaltending in Syracuse hasn't been up to par," Yzerman said. "We want to give our team the best opportunity to make the playoffs."

Desjardins, 27, was with the Lightning organization during the 2010-11 season, when he was 15-6-1 for AHL Norfolk with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. He also won two games for Tampa Bay.

He was not re-signed because of a shoulder injury that needed surgery, and this season he was 7-13-2 for AHL Hamilton with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.

Yzerman said the shoulder "hasn't been an issue."

Desjardins is well-known to Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher, who coached him at Rimouski of the junior Quebec league and in 2009-10 at Hamilton.

For Tokarski, the drop has been precipitous.

He helped AHL Norfolk to last season's Calder Cup title and also helped Canada to the 2009 world junior champion­ship. But Tokarski was mediocre in five games last season for Tampa Bay, and with prospects Andrey Vasilev­skiy and Jaroslav Janus progressing in Europe, Tokarski was expendable.

"We wish him good luck," Yzerman said. "He was a good player for us. He gets an opportunity in a new organization. After four years, maybe that's a good thing for him."

SICK BAY: Mathieu Garon started in net and made 35 saves against the Capitals because Anders Lindback was sick.

Lindback was the backup but did not sit on the bench during the game. He was in the training room. "We were trying to keep him away from the players," Boucher said.

MINOR MOVES: Little-used D Brendan Mikkelson and RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie were sent to Syracuse on conditioning assignments with a two-week maximum.

ODDS AND ENDS: Lightning RW B.J. Crombeen played in his 300th NHL game. … NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer was at the game. … D Marc-Andre Bergeron was scratched.

Lightning, Canadiens swap AHL goalies 02/14/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 15, 2013 12:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Muslim faith greater than fear for Wharton's Rania Samhouri (w/video)


    TAMPA — Rania Samhouri graduated Monday night from Wharton High School, and many times throughout the ceremony she flashed back to a moment that changed her life.

     Rania Samhouri stretches after track practice on Monday April 24, 2017 at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida. Rania, who is Muslim, recently started wearing her hijab during track competitions. She graduates from Wharton this year and will attend University of South Florida on scholarship next year.
  2. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  4. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.