TAMPA — The Lightning lost Alex Barre-Boulet on waivers Monday when the 24-year-old forward was claimed by the expansion Kraken.
Barre-Boulet was the odd man out in the competition for the Lightning’s final two forward roster spots, as Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk made the roster for tonight’s season opener against the Penguins.
The Lightning had put Barre-Boulet on waivers in order to assign him to AHL Syracuse.
Defensemen Andrej Sustr and Fredrik Claesson cleared waivers and will be assigned to Syracuse.
A proven scorer in the minor leagues, Barre-Boulet debuted for the Lightning last season, scoring three goals in 15 games, even seeing time on the first forward line at the end of the season when Steven Stamkos was injured.
But Raddysh and Katchouk better fill the Lightning’s immediate needs with their two-way games and ability to contribute on the penalty kill.
The Lightning’s salary cap situation also came into play.
The Lightning will only have 21 players on opening night, two shy of the roster limit. Even after placing retired defenseman Brent Seabrook — whose contract was acquired from the Blackhawks for forward Tyler Johnson in July — and forward Gemel Smith on long-term injured reserve, the Lightning still had less than $1,000 of cap space.
“Because of our cap constraints and what we’ve done (in the offseason), it’s hard,” coach Jon Cooper said. “I think a lot of teams have this situation and contracts come into play. The hard part is you want to keep as many guys as possible, but the rules are in place.”
Barre-Boulet ranked among the AHL’s top six in scoring in his first two seasons at Syracuse. He was the AHL Rookie of the Year in 2018-19 after scoring 27 goals and getting 29 assists. He had 34 goals and 34 assists in 2019-20 with the Crunch.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @EddieintheYard.
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