September 20: Waivers open for the 2019-20 season today, and according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports Domingue will be on them.
September 12: When the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Curtis McElhinney to a two-year, $2.6MM contract at the start of free agency, eyebrows were raised all around the league. The Lightning already had Louis Domingue in the organization and had given him a similar contract just a year prior. Domingue had played in 26 games for the Lightning in 2018-19 and had a 21-5 record, clearly good enough to keep the team afloat while Andrei Vasilevskiy dealt with injury. Still, they had brought in McElhinney to give them even more depth. When they then traded Ryan Callahan to the Ottawa Senators and took on Mike Condon’s contract which still had $2.4MM on it, even more questions popped up. How many goaltenders were the Lightning going to start the season with?
Today, GM Julien BriseBois explained what the plan is to team reporter Caley Chelios. The Lightning will keep Condon and Domingue in a “controlled environment” throughout training camp to avoid injury, before placing them on waivers later this month and assigning them to the minor leagues. Moving both goaltenders to the minors would shave $1.075MM off of each cap hit, saving the Lightning some extremely valuable space. The two would then only total $1.4MM against the cap, giving BriseBois some extra room to sign Brayden Point and stay under the cap by the time the season begins.
That is, unless another team decides to claim or trade for them. Domingue is the much more likely candidate given his lower salary and recent success, and that was evident today. BriseBois told Chelios that a team even called this morning about the 27-year old goaltender, indicating some interest. Over a 122-game NHL career, Domingue has recorded a .907 save percentage but showed last season that he could at least hold down the job for a short stretch and keep a good team on the winning path.
Condon meanwhile played his way out of a job with the Senators and struggled all season with injury. He played in just three games last season including one at the AHL level and hasn’t been an effective NHL option since 2016-17. The 29-year old is likely too expensive for a waiver claim even if he is healthy, and it’s hard to see a team taking on his contract unless the Lightning include another asset.