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Quick Strikes for Friday, September 26

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Lots of updates on Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's new partnership with Bill Gates, some regular season predictions, and more Top 25 Under 25s in your Friday morning links.

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Scott Olson

  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' Cascade Investnment LLC is backing Lightning owner Jeff Vinik's "billion dollar" development plan  downtown Tampa. [Tampa Bay Business Journal]
  • Vinik's plan for Channelside may also be including purchasing the 719-room Tampa Marrriott Waterside, nestled nicely between Amalie Arena and the Tampa Convention Center. [Tampa Bay Business Journal]
  • The Tampa Bay Times has their take on this latest Channelside development, including the always-burning question regarding a new home for the Tampa Bay Rays. [Tampa Bay Times]
  • Back on the subject of hockey, More and more predictions for the 2014-15 regular season are rolling in, and the Tampa Bay Lightning continue to be a trendy pick. [Hockey Buzz]
  • The 2014-15 Tampa Bay Lightning media guide is available in PDF form. [Tampa Bay Lightning Official Site]
  • You'll need ESPN Insider access (paywall alert!), but Corey Pronman has ranked the Top 25 players in the NHL under age 25. Steven Stamkos comes in at #1. [ESPN Insider]
  • Ever wondered what all the various painted logos at center ice have been throughout Lightning history? Wonder no more. [Frozen Faceoff]
  • Assessing the first round draft history of the Lightning -- who busted? Who made it? [Pucks on the Fly]
  • He'll downplay his own involvement, but Dean Lombardi definitely deserves credit for building a perennial contender in Los Angeles. [Frozen Royalty]
  • Interesting responses to polling from a slice of the "bring the NHL to Seattle" crowd. [NHL To Seattle]
  • You might not have known that actor Keanu Reeves had some puck-stopping skills as a young goaltender in Toronto. [The Hockey News]
  • Usually we see these in the other direction, but this is a nice "Englishman's Guide to Hockey", complete with team comparisons between NHL and Premier League clubs. [Mr. Porter]