Fresh off re-calling Haydn Fleury from his conditioning assignment in the AHL the Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that they’ve re-assigned defenseman Philippe Myers to their AHL affiliate the Syracuse Crunch. Myers had been on the Lightning’s NHL roster since November 9th and only made his regular season debut with the team last night against the St. Louis Blues. The 26-year-old played 15:32 in last night’s game registering two shots on goal.
Myers was with Syracuse for the first month of the season and dressed in nine games for the Crunch. He registered two assists and was +7. This is the third consecutive year that Myers has seen significant time in the minors having played a total of 77 AHL games combined over the past three seasons. Despite so much time in the AHL, Myers has continued to collect NHL salaries the past three seasons including this one where he is making $1.4MM. Myers came over to the Lightning back in July 2022 in the trade that sent defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators.
Myers demotion could be a signal that defenseman Erik Cernak is ready to return from a reported concussion. Cernak didn’t play in last night’s game against the Blues but is considered day-to-day currently. If Cernak is able to return to the Lightning lineup he would represent a significant upgrade over Myers on Tampa Bay’s back end. While Cernak is not an offensive juggernaut as evidenced by his three assists in 15 games, he does offer a physical presence having dished out 33 hits already this year.
The Lightning need all of the help they can get at this point as they’ve started the season well below expectations with a 6-6-4 record. While on the surface, it would appear as though they have underwhelmed, but when injuries are factored into the equation the team has done well to weather the storm thus far.