Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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New Lightning goaltender Caron signed; injury updates
Posted Mar 19, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Mar 19, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Looking for some relief in net, the Lightning announced the signing of former NHL goaltender Sebastien Caron to a one-year prorated contract on Monday.
Caron, who last played in the NHL in 2007, spent this season with the Islerohn Roosters in the German Elite League posting a 25-23 with a 2.57 goals against average, .932 save percentage and five shutouts, which was second in the league.
Because Caron played in Europe this season, he was required to be placed on waivers on Monday and has until noon on Tuesday to clear. Because the 31-year-old was signed after the trade deadline, he would not be eligible to play for another team this season, making it unlikely another team would put in a claim.
With Mathieu Garon out with a groin injury since March 6, the Lightning were looking for somebody with some NHL experience. Tampa Bay has been relying on rookie G Dustin Tokarski, who will start Monday against Buffalo, to carry the load but has been unable to stabilize the position with a 1-2-1 record with a 2.79 goals against average and .901 save percentage.
Monday morning Caron already had his gear hanging up in a locker stall and was around the locker room, but did not go on the ice with the team for the morning skate. He said he was a bit surprised when he was told of Tampa Bay’s interest in signing him for the rest of the season.
“I had a pretty good year this year, and it’s sad with the situation here where Mathieu got hurt, but it gives me a shot and I’m ready for it,’’ Caron said. “It’s nice to be back and I’m looking forward to it.’’
Caron, a veteran of 92 games mostly with Pittsburgh from 2002-2006, said he’s not sure what kind of an opportunity this might mean for possibly getting back to the NHL after spending the past five seasons in Europe.
“To be honest, I jut go with the flow,’’ he said. “I just want to enjoy my time here and hopefully get some playing time, do my best and try to show something. This came up just a few days ago, and why not, you know. I’m not going to say no to that.’’
Extended Laundry List
One-by-one the Lightning injury list continues to creep back up to a significant number.
Adam Hall became the latest to have to sit out due to injury after suffering an undisclosed upper-body injury that will keep him out of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. That brings the total number of regulars currently out of the lineup to eight, which includes: Vinny Lecavalier (hand), Ryan Shannon (upper body), Nate Thompson (upper body), Garon (groin), Marc-Andre Begeron (back surgery), Mattias Ohlund (knee) and Dana Tyrell (knee surgery)
“I have the choice, either I start crying – which I felt like – or I just look at it as it is ridiculous and you just have to go with it,’’ Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. “We’ve got two lines that are American League guys but they work hard and they battle and they give us a chance to stay in games. Our defense, we have some new young guys that we are grooming that were in the American League before and we are not going to put pressure on these guys . . . to come here and be the saviors. The reality is that everybody has their own pace of development and we want to respect that. At the same time we want to put our best game on the ice with the players that are here.’’
Boucher indicated that Shannon might miss the remainder of the season, but was awaiting test results before any sort of determination was made. Boucher also said he didn’t believe Halls’ injury would be considered short term.
With the list growing long, LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie was called up from Norfolk of the American Hockey League and will be in the lineup against Buffalo. In addition RW Brandon Segal, who has been a healthy scratch for the past seven games will also be in the lineup.