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Quick Strikes for Thursday, December 18

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik unveiled a grand plan to revitalize the area around Amalie Arena, EPIX aired their first episode of Road to the Winter Classic to mixed reviews, the Panthers had a record-breaking Tuesday night, and mumps, lots and lots of mumps, in this edition of Quick Strikes.

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Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

  • Tampa Live, aka Vinikville, was unveiled yesterday by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his business partners. The revamp of the southern downtown core and Tampa's Channel District including the relocation of the USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, and making Tampa a walkable urban center. [Tampa Bay Times]
  • You can find detailed plans and explanations, as well as give input on everything too. [Tampa Waterfront 2020]
  • We hosted a live-stream of the press conference yesterday, and that stream has turned into a recording of the unveiling (so you can watch the whole thing again if you'd like). The video of the conference is worth seeing, especially for Mr. Vinik's "Green Bay Packers of the NHL" quotation. [Raw Charge]
  • In hockey news, Roberto Luongo survived a record-breaking shoot-out against Washington, helping the Panthers achieve a 2-1 victory. In the locker room afterwards (one assumes), he had enough stamina left to make an equally epic tweet:

  • Litter Box Cats posted video of all twenty rounds of the shootout, as well as a recap of a night that was "more epic than Gilgamesh." [Litter Box Cats]
  • The Caps were a little nonplussed by the loss. Japers' Rink's recap is entitled "Come for the dull, stay for the shoot-out." [Japers' Rink]
  • Perhaps the real news that came out of this win is that the Panthers had, for the moment, passed the Bruins in the standings. [Washington Post]
  • That changed Wednesday night with the Bruins win last night against the Minnesota Wild, though.
  • Speaking of the Caps, the people of EPIX thought it was a good idea to schedule the first Road to the Winter Classic episode during game time for both Washington and Chicago. Oops? Despite that, many people watched and recapped the show. [Japers' Rink]
  • There's an Easter Egg in the Puck Daddy review of the show -- the Caps' scouting breakdown of the Tampa Bay Lightning, neatly captured on screen. [Puck Daddy]
  • Gordie Howe is doing better, says his family. He is walking under his own power, and expected to attend a public event in the near future. [The Score]
  • Reina De La Isla wrote about her experiences at the CWHL All-Star game at the Air Canada Centre this past weekend. She made the point that "women's hockey is still a niche when it comes to media exposure," but mentioned that this spurred players to take as much advantage as they could of the All-Star opportunity. [Hockey Wilderness]
  • Pro Hockey Talk compared game attendance this season against last season for all 30 NHL teams. Dallas leads in growth while the Panthers have fallen by the largest percentage. The Bolts have fallen in attendance too, but by less than a tenth of a percent. [Pro Hockey Talk]
  • Guess what? Mumps, that's what, including three more potentially mumpy Penguins, and a reinforced NHL guideline about the disease. [Mumps] [Mumps] and [More Mumps]