The Lightning wasted no time Monday morning making many changes to solidify their roster. This pre-season, the name Carter Verhaeghe stuck out a lot to say the least and we should look forward to hearing it more as Verhaeghe not only officially made the Lightning roster yesterday, but will be making his NHL debut wearing jersey number 23 at the home opener Thursday night against the Panthers. Saturday night, after the pre-season finale, Verhaeghe said that he felt like did everything that he can do and that he had a good game and something he could build off. Verhaeghe’s focus was to just keep on improving, which was confirmed noticeable by coach Cooper in Saturday’s press conference, Cooper said ” Verhaeghe has been impressive, he’s come along a lot in the last 2 years”. The Lightning have been known to see the right kind of spark in athletes and present opportunities for them to take off in their career.
In other good news, Brayden Point was back in a regular jersey for Monday’s morning skate, indicating that we can expect to see him sooner rather than later in the season. Point is finally pain free after managing to push through a torn labrum in his hips and hip surgery this past spring. The ability to be versatile is in full effect as well with Luke Witkowski, an original defensive player now rostered at wing, he’ll bring a needed physicality up front.
Unfortunately as much as we heard Volkov’s name and some strong skating out of him this pre-season, Volkov was waived and sent up North. As for some questionable players heading into Thursday’s home opener, Paquette more than likely will not play and Johnson, and Hedman will be a day to day evaluation. The potentially fitting line up for the home opener is looking to be: