After four months of uncertainty, Louis Domingue has a new home. The Lightning traded the goaltender to New Jersey in return for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2020.
The Lightning signed Curtis McElhinney when free agency opened July 1, committing to him as their new backup goalie. At the time, general manager Julien BriseBois said he was looking for a new home for Domingue. It took four months.
Domingue had a strong season last year as the Lightning’s backup. He guided the team through Andrei Vasilevskiy’s month-long absence with a fractured foot. Domingue won 11 straight appearances, setting a team record. He finished the season with 21 wins, a save percentage of .908 and goals-against average of 2.88.
It looked like Domingue’s redemption season. He had been sent home by Arizona, traded to the Lightning and started over again in the AHL in 2017. Domingue made his way to the NHL and proved himself and reliable backup.
He told the Syracuse Post-Standard it was his two-year plan to prove that he could be a starter in the NHL and everything seemed on track. Until the Lightning signed McElhinney. They couldn’t find a trading partner and had to send Domingue back to the AHL ... again.
Despite being a strong NHL goalie, Domingue’s trade value fell as the Lightning had little to no leverage. He ended up going for a conditional seventh-round pick, much less than he’s worth. The conditions are Domingue playing in seven regular-season games, one playoff game or being traded this year.
And now Domingue starts over for a third time. New Jersey could offer more opportunity for him. Neither Cory Schneider nor Mackenzie Blackwell are playing well and coach John Hynes told reporters the team would discuss the goalie situation after Wednesday’s loss to the Lightning.
The Devils could chose to send Blackwell back to the AHL and lean on Domingue some. They could keep him in the AHL as a reserve. It’s a better chance than he had with the Lightning.
Contact Diana C. Nearhos at email@example.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.