Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning send Mathieu Joseph back to AHL

Coach Jon Cooper suggests this is a chance for Joseph to regain some confidence.
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) works to play the puck along the boards during first-period action against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena on Oct. 23.
Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph (7) works to play the puck along the boards during first-period action against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena on Oct. 23. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Dec. 20, 2019

TAMPA — The Lightning and Mathieu Joseph are hitting the reset button. The second-year forward was sent to AHL Syracuse.

Joseph has not made the impact that he did last year through the first 33 games of this season. This is a chance for him to maybe get back some of the confidence he showed last year.

Related: Nikita Kucherov was benched after a careless error. The question is how he will take the message.

“A big part of the American League is about development,” coach Jon Cooper said. “I don’t think at any time can you stop developing when you’re playing this game. If it’s an opportunity for him to play 20 minutes (a game) instead of 10, that’s a good thing.”

Last year Joseph surprised everyone, including himself, when he made the Lightning ahead of projections. He had a strong training camp, which turned into a strong rookie season.

This year he has played mostly on the third and fourth lines, and provided depth on the penalty kill.

Joseph has four goals and seven points in 31 games. That’s pretty far off from last season’s 13 goals and 26 points in 70 games.

Related: Get to know Pat Maroon, who can't think of a food he didn't like as a kid because he just likes food

Joseph was loaned a day before the league’s holiday roster freeze goes into place at midnight Thursday. The AHL reported 49 transactions Wednesday and Thursday.

After the freeze takes effect, teams cannot sent down or trade players until Dec. 28. There are a couple of exceptions, but the only one that applies to the Lightning says that a player who was recalled after Dec. 11 can be sent back before Monday. Players can be recalled.

The rule was instituted after trades took players away from their families during Christmas.

Contact Diana C. Nearhos at dnearhos@tampabay.com. Follow @dianacnearhos.