Brendan Mikkelson’s nurturing in the AHL is done, for now.
The defenceman for the Abbostford Heat, affiliate to the Calgary Flames, is packing his backs for Tampa Bay, to help fill the void in some patches in the vulnerable Lightning blue line.
All right, the crease is pretty vulnerable in Tampa Bay, too.
But, regardless, Tampa Bay is allowing a league-worst 3.36 goals per game.
(Here’s Mikkelson’s grit showing below in this video. His one fight of this season.)
With guys like Mattias Ohlund (knee) and Victor Hedman (concussion) out, general manager Steve Yzerman has to assess the damages appropriately.
After all, Dwayne Roloson was phenomenal just eight months ago.
So, pick up some bodies in the AHL, and see what some young blood out front can do.
Mikkelson might be that guy who helps eat up some time on the lower pairings.
He’s got good foot work, which sometimes transcends into a smooth passing game and overall transition of puck possession.
Let’s not look for him to be looked up to for to contribute big on special teams right away, but, if he can do the small roles efficiently, and help turn around the sputtering Tampa Bay, then Mikkelson should be able to earn his spot for a bit longer in the NHL.
Note: The Calgary Flames received centre Blair Jones in exchange for Mikkelson.