In corresponding moves the Tampa Bay Lightning have waived former New York Islanders goaltender Kevin Poulin, according to Renaud Lavoie, and they’ve recalled Kristers Gudlevskis from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, who will get the start in Saturday’s Stanley Cup rematch against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Lightning claimed Poulin off waivers from the Islanders in late September as they attempted to sort out a tricky goaltending situation. That move was necessitated by Andrei Vasilevskiy’s preseason surgery to remove a blood clot, which would keep him out of the lineup long enough that the team needed a solution, but not so long that they really needed a new permanent back up.
Now the team has revealed a bit of their thinking there. Vasilevskiy is closing in on a return and Ben Bishop is “dealing with something minor,” so the team recalled the 23-year-old Gudlevskis, who will get the start Saturday.
It looks like, as was discussed here at THW, Poulin was an insurance policy so that Gudlevskis and Adam Wilcox were still getting game time in the AHL, instead of sitting on the bench doing very little up at the NHL level. This will be the first game this season where Bishop isn’t in net and they team has decided to waive Poulin rather than give him a game.
This will be Gudlevskis’s second NHL start.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.