Lightning's plan to employ half of NHL moves onto goaltenders

The Tampa Bay sideshow has used 41 different players so far this season, including 17 defencemen, and with Mike Smith apparently ailing, they're pulling another unknown goaltender from the minors:

The last we saw of Lightning goalie Mike Smith he was smashing a water bottle and overturning carts in the hallway leading to the locker room after he was pulled from Friday's loss to the Flyers. It is unknown if that had any affect on Monday's announcement Smith will not fly with the team for Tuesday's game against the Islanders.

Mike McKenna, signed Monday to an NHL contract, and Karri Ramo will be the goaltending duo. Riku Helenius, who made his NHL debut Friday in relief of Smith, will be sent to AHL Norfolk where he will start the next several games. It is unclear whether McKenna or Ramo will start against the Islanders.

Given Ramo's play so far, both in the NHL and the AHL, my guess is they give Mr. McKenna his first NHL start and make him No. 42.

A 25-year-old from St. Louis, he played two seasons in the NAHL, four years with St. Lawrence University in the NCAA and two more with Las Vegas in the ECHL before becoming a full-time AHLer last season with Portland. He has a .904 save percentage with Norfolk this season and an 11-10-1 record.

Ramo, meanwhile, has been one of the worst regular netminders in the AHL and may not be long for this side of the ocean.

The Lightning have to be approaching some sort of a record for players employed this season, and you have to imagine that's had an affect on the team.

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