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Quick Strikes: Nic Riopel joins the Lightning’s unofficial ECHL affiliate

And it’s October!

NHL: Preseason-Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Prospects

Lightning assign Nic Riopel to Adirondack. "Riopel re-signed a one-year deal with the Crunch in July and provides the organization with depth should something happen to Connor Ingram or Michael Leighton in Syracuse. Riopel will be a familiar name to hockey fans in the Glen Falls area as he appeared in 21 games for the Adirondack Phantoms, an AHL franchise, over the course of two seasons from 2009-2011." [Raw Charge]

Syracuse Crunch open AHL Preseason with 3-2 win over rival Utica Comets. "Coming off a trip to the Calder Cup Finals, the Crunch opened the AHL Preseason with a 3-2 win over the Utica Comets on Saturday night." [CNY Central]

Then on Sunday, the Crunch fell 3-1, splitting the series. “The Crunch fell to Utica 3-1 in an exhibition game in the War Memorial on Sunday, giving the teams a weekend preseason split. The Crunch opens its regular season on Friday at Rochester.” [Syracuse.com]

The Bolts

Nikita Kucherov has his second social media account, Instagram:

I am finally on Instagram! @nikitakucherov86

A post shared by Nikita Kucherov (@nikitakucherov86) on

This is a lovely article about Andrei Vasilevskiy's life, which is basically...'Just hockey and family, that is my life'. "He met his wife, Ksenia, eight years ago on a two-hour flight to Moscow. They were in the same row and hit it off. She lived in Moscow; he was playing for Ufa. Their courting began over social media." [Tampa Bay Times]

Another Harvard guy hanging around Tampa Bay:

Atlantic Division: Tampa Bay Lightning Season Outlook. "Expect the Lightning to finish first or second in the Atlantic Division and depending on their defense, the leading candidate to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Final." OK, I'll allow it. [My NHL Trade Rumors]

Dan Girardi, Chris Kunitz on what they bring to the Lightning. I don't know what this is about because Fox has "pivoted to video" and I don't have the time to watch through this stuff. Someone tell me if it's worth watching. Also, I really miss Andy Astleford's writing! [Fox Sports]

Lightning: What we've learned in preseason. "It is down to 25 players, with the final forward spot coming down to injured Michael Bournival, Cory Conacher, Gabriel Dumont and Yanni Gourde. Gourde appears to be a lock." [Tampa Bay Times]

Lightning Prospect Pool Gems. "These hidden gems are likely to start the year playing for the Syracuse Crunch, but if they continue to develop their game, they could be a major part of the next youth movement for the Lightning." Basically Peca, Joseph, Cernak. [THW]

What is going on with you, Jake Dotchin?

The Game