The Lightning made a move to upgrade their AHL goaltending by adding Louis Domingue.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded for goalie Louis Domingue from the Arizona Coyotes presumably to improve their AHL goaltending situation as well as add some emergency NHL depth. In exchange, Arizona have received goalie Michael Leighton and forward Tye McGinn who were both regulars in the Syracuse Crunch lineup so far this season.

Domingue has played seven games in Arizona this season and struggled with a sub .900 save percentage at 5v5. By goals saved above average, he’s been the fourth worst goalie in the NHL so far this season. But the Lightning won’t be asking him to play NHL minutes. Instead, he’ll look to sure up the goaltending situation in Syracuse where Michael Leighton has struggled thus far. His save percentage in the AHL has been worse than Domingue’s in the NHL so this should be a clear upgrade.

The Crunch didn’t make this upgrade without paying a price. To acquire Domingue, they sent forward Tye McGinn to Arizona. McGinn has played significant minutes this season and is one of the few veterans on a team full of developing prospects. He’s one of the players the team has looked to for leadership.

His counting stats haven’t been impressive so far this season. He has just two goals and five total points. Arizona likely acquired him to fill a similar role as a veteran presence on their AHL club.

Moving McGinn who was unlikely to return to Syracuse next season due to the organization’s depth at forward frees up more space for players who might have a longer term future with the team. One potential option to fill his roster spot is Jason Akeson who was recently released from a PTO with the team. It’s possible the Crunch liked what they saw from the 27 year old forward while he was in town and needed to clear a roster spot for him. His numbers were similar to McGinn’s with one goal and five points in eleven games.

Bigger picture, the major piece here is Domingue. He should bring stability to the Crunch goaltending and be a solid partner for Conor Ingram as he continues to develop in his first pro season. The Lightning should also feel more secure that they have a third option in net in case something happens to Andrei Vasilevskiy (knock on all the wood) or Peter Budaj (knock on maybe a little bit of wood).

The Crunch play next tomorrow night and it seems unlikely that Domingue would be ready in time for that game. This weekend’s back to back in Toronto against the Marlies, however, seems reasonable for a debut where Crunch fans will hopefully see a significant boost in goaltending performance.


Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com