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Quick Strikes for Wednesday, July 1

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It's Christmas morning in the NHL, as free agency begins. Transactions started yesterday though, as with some other news and relevant reading for today

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  • Yesterday had the Tampa Bay Lightning settle some business with forthcoming restricted and unrestricted free agents. We track all player movement in the off-season with our annual Lined-Up Update, where you can see how things stand as Free Agency begins today. [Raw Charge]
  • A transaction that isn't on the Lined-Up Update from yesterday is Joey Mormina being re-signed by the Lightning/Crunch yesterday. [Syracuse.com]
  • It starts in a couple of days - a little renovation at War Memorial up in Syracuse to extend the ice surface about 6 feet in length. What a costly little feat... [Syracuse.com]
  • Who, pray tell, may target defenseman Mark Barberio now that he is an unrestricted free agent? How about the New York Islanders? [Islanders Analytics]
  • ... Or the Vancouver Canucks? They could use a mobile, puck-moving defenseman. [Canucks Army]
  • The retained defenseman, Andrej Sustr, didn't exactly bring cheers and rejoicing from some of the Bolts fans out there on social media. Why complain, writes Mike Stuart, when it's a low risk retention. [The Lightning Lounge]
  • Registration begins TODAY for the Tampa Bay Lightning High School hockey league. If you're a student and intend to play, it's time to sign up. [Tampa Bay Lightning]
  • The Martin Jones era in Boston is over before it even starts, with the Sweeny Skirmish continuing in head-scratching fashion in Beantown. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]
  • You know who isn't thought of much in the shenanigans from Boston? The Los Angeles Kings, who didn't intend to trade Jones to the Sharks. Just what are they thinking in all this? [Jewels from the Crown]
  • Yet the Jones deal (or Milan Lucic acquisition) is the last story you're thinking of lately with the Kings. JftC has the latest on Mike Richards contract termination and details are leaking out just what the bloody hell happened. [Jewels from the Crown]
  • Alexander Semin will become a free agent as the Carolina Hurricanes are buying him out. It's a necessity for the club to admit a failing in the long-term contract they bestowed upon Semin. [Canes Country]
  • And some pondering if Semin is a fit in the Motor City? [Winging it in Motown]
  • A Midwest blockbuster as RFA Brandon Saad was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 7 player deal. [Second City Hockey]
  • Brad Boyes also fell victim to the waived-to-buyout axe from the Florida Panthers. [Litter Box Cats]
  • Eddie Lack's trade from the Vancouver Canucks to the Hurricanes was business per usual in the NHL... And the business hurt Vancouver in the deal, not just on a trade assessment level but a lost-character level. [Van City Buzz]
  • The Canucks did get their man moved in Kevin Bieksa. They had a deal with the San Jose Sharks all but finalized and fall through during the weekend. Bieksa's heading to Anaheim and the Ducks. [Anaheim Calling]
  • Nick Cotsonika's last day with Yahoo Sports was Tuesday. He reflected on four years of coverage for the Y! With a best-of retrospective. [Yahoo Sports]