In the upcoming draft, Timothy Liljegren is the defenseman projected to go first among all defenders. He’s a right-handed player from Sweden, and who doesn’t love Swedefenders? The Hockey Writers say that he plays a lot like Drew Doughty, and FanRagSports says that despite battling Mono last season, he’s expected to rise to the top of skaters from Europe. Is he the RHD we are looking for?
Lightning willing to make trade, Steve Yzerman says. "It's relatively quiet around the League for a lot of reasons," Yzerman said. "One is simply the [NHL salary cap]. A lot of teams don't have the cap space. And another is, everybody is kind of in the fight. There's very few teams that would consider today and say, 'We're out of it … We're just going to start moving our assets.' And those teams need partners, and the teams at the top don't have the cap space and don't have the urgency to do anything, so it'll get closer to the deadline for us, or in the middle a little bit." [NHL]
Clark wrote last night’s game recap. Sens smother Lightning, 5-2. [Raw Charge]
And here’s Joe’s. [Tampa Bay Times]
Ben Bishop recognizes that he may not be here next year and is open to being traded if the right opportunity presents itself. “Obviously the grass isn't always greener on the other side. You want to win where you are. You don't really think about next year, or anything but next game. But we'll see where it takes us. That's my feeling. But at the same time, I want to play, too." [Tampa Bay Times]
Bryan Burns and Caley Chelios reveal their top ten plays for the month of January.
Brian Boyle will officially serve as the Lightning’s LGBTQ-inclusion ambassador. “The NHL is teaming up with the You Can Play project to create more visibility for LGBTQ inclusion in the league and build a list of team ambassadors that creates a web of support reaching all 30 team locker rooms.” [Outsports]
According to GM Steve Yzerman, there is no timetable on Ryan Callahan’s return. “We've tried some things. He's had obviously some issues that have been recurring since coming back from surgery, and it's kept him out of the lineup. Right now, he's just in a phase where he's strengthening. We're trying to get him back to 100 percent strength, and get him back to play.” [Tampa Bay Times]
Being back in Tampa 'brings a great smile' to the face of ex-Lightning coach Guy Boucher. "By that time we had injuries and guys were starting to wear down. But I still remember the push and everything guys were able to give us. It was real special. I think at that moment we gave hope back to the organization and the fans. That's what I remember – the hope." Good memories. [Tampa Bay Times]
Forward Jarome Iginla of the Colorado Avalanche would like to be traded to a contending team. “I would like to be in the playoffs. I would hope that there is some opportunity to go and play in the playoffs. Those are the best games, the most fun for sure, and you have a chance to win. So no, I haven’t given up on that chance to win.” [Puck Daddy]
Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was the second black player in the history of the NHL to be named MVP of the All-Star Game. That may seem like a small accomplishment, but it’s a good sign of progress and inclusion in the league. “Hockey is still largely a ‘white’ sport. It's already insular by nature, and within the bubble still lives a small demographic that is not ready for players of color to hit the ice.” [Bleacher Report]
Former Lightning defenseman Mark Barberio finds himself moving teams yet again as he was claimed off of waivers by the Colorado Avalanche. [Mile High Hockey]
P.K. Subban goes Hollywood and the marketing of NHL stars. "Then P.K. Subban walked in the room. He had two large cufflinks, visible on cameras and possibly from space: One with his number and Montreal Canadiens colors, the other with the logo of his current team, the Nashville Predators. As he walked over to NHL Network’s set for an appearance, a veteran Montreal-based reporter standing nearby uttered, 'He doesn’t even look like a hockey player anymore.'" [Puck Daddy]