Saturday: It’s not a move that will suggest a major shakeup is on the way but the scuffling Lightning have decided to change up their roster slightly as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports (Twitter link) that they have placed winger/defenseman Luke Witkowski on waivers.
Witkowski is in his first season back with Tampa Bay after spending the past two seasons in Detroit. While he has played on the blue line in a pinch over the last couple of years, he has been primarily deployed as a physical fourth line winger and has 33 hits in just 12 games so far this season, a mark that leads the team. However, his offensive upside is rather limited and it appears that the Lightning would prefer someone that can contribute more at that end in that spot.
The 29-year-old is in the first season of a two-year, two-way contract that pays the league minimum of $700K at the NHL level. Considering his positional versatility and that small of a financial commitment, it’s certainly possible that he attracts some interest on the wire. If not, his entire contract will come off the books if and when he’s sent to AHL Syracuse which would give Tampa Bay some much-needed cap flexibility as they only have a little over $1MM in current cap room at their disposal.