The Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to trade defender Slater Koekkoek, according to Elliotte Friedman in his 31 thoughts article today. The twenty-four year old defender is currently on a conditioning stint with the Syracuse Crunch. That will end this weekend and he’ll need to return to the team.
Here is Friedman’s note:
8. Add Pat Maroon to the list of available St. Louis Blues. And Tampa Bay is trying to find a new home for Slater Koekkoek, currently on a conditioning stint at AHL Syracuse.
With J.T. Miller close to returning from injury, the team will have to make room on the roster. Sending Erik Cernak back to Syracuse would be the easiest way to buy time in the short term, but he’s shown he’s ready to be an NHL player now. Demoting him would be difficult to justify. The other option would be to try to get Danick Martel through waivers to Syracuse, but the Flyerswould almost certainly claim him since they still have the right to do so and send him directly to the AHL.
Koekkoek has struggled to find a place in Tampa’s lineup since suffering shoulder injuries after being drafted tenth overall in 2012. He will still be a restricted free agent this summer, so a team might see some value if they think he has potential as a reclamation project.
In his NHL minutes, Koekkoek hasn’t done enough in Tampa to justify a spot in the lineup. He’s consistently been at the bottom of the depth chart due to poor results.