Last summer, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov signed an extremely cap-friendly contract: 4.77 million dollars for three years. At the end of that contract, he will still be a Restricted Free Agent which limits his freedom in negotiating his next contract. All in all, it was an absolute steal for Steve Yzerman. This summer Kucherov elected to change agents, joining Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey (who also represents former Bolt-turned-Hab Nikita Nesterov). So perhaps Kucherov’s next contract won’t be quite as favorable for the Bolts.
Detroit will always be a special city to Steve Yzerman, but that doesn't mean he wants to leave Tampa. "He’s planted the seeds for a dynasty. Not everything has gone perfectly to plan. But that’s hockey. That’s life. Yzerman is already a legend in one city. He has the opportunity to become a legend in Tampa Bay too." [Raw Charge]
In Part 2 of their series on the highs and lows of this season, the good folks at Lightning Shout discuss the kids, the power play, and the brilliance of Steve Yzerman. "Not every year is going to be the year. That doesn’t mean the Lightning’s 2016-17 campaign was without merit. A lot of great things happened and they deserve to be recognized." [Lightning Shout]
Brayden Point had a stellar rookie year. “By the end of the season, whether due to performance or trades or injuries to other players, Point had emerged as Tampa Bay's top center. The third round pick (79th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft played as the pivot between Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov and helped both reach new heights.” [Tampa Bay Lightning]
Ryan Callahan shares pictures of his dog with Anthony (a young boy battling Stage 4 Neuroblastoma) to help him relax during a photo shoot. Cally is such a good guy.
The Syracuse Crunch face the Montreal Canadiens affiliate St. John's Ice Caps in the first round of the AHL playoffs. We asked our friends at Habs Eye on the Prize to fill us in on what to expect from the Ice Caps. [Raw Charge]
Connor Ingram is settling into his role as an observer in Syracuse. "Warmup pictures are key for a black ace."
Jake Dotchin credits Syracuse Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx for helping him elevate his game this year. "I think Benny Groulx, he helped me lot this year. He gave me a kick in the pants early in November... I think after that I kind of cleaned things up and started to play my game, the game I knew I could play. I just wasn't finding it. He gave me the confidence and gave me the opportunities to fulfill that role and be the player I am today.'' [Syracuse.com]
Cameron Darcy (#13 in red) picked up three assists, Brian Hart (#27) scored a goal, and Nick Riopel (#29) stopped 17 of 21 shots to help the Kalamazoo Wings defeat the Toledo Walleye 6-4. Toledo leads the series 2-1. "The win showcased exactly how the K-Wings can claw their way back into this series. Play physical, frustrate the Walleye and keep the puck off of their sticks." [Raw Charge]
Anthony Cirelli (#22 in yellow) scored a goal and Erik Cernak (#17) picked up an assist to help the Erie Otters defeat Mitchell Stephens (#67 in white - 1G, 1A) and the London Knights 5-4 in overtime of Game 7. Cirelli scored a game-tying goal early in the the third period, but it was Stephens who delivered the truly clutch performance with a game-tying goal in the final minutes of regulation. The Otters advance to the third round of the OHL playoffs. Stephens was eliminated and may join the Syracuse Crunch.
"Many Paralympians have spent time raising awareness around sledge hockey, and worry a new name for the sport could set their efforts back." [The Star]
"The Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft picks and league awards will be broadcasted to a national audience from T-Mobile Arena as part of a two-hour event on June 21, the league announced Tuesday." [Puck Daddy ]
The Rangers defeated the Canadiens 2-1. The series is tied at 2-2. "The Rangers knew they needed to be better after last game, and they certainly delivered tonight backed by Henrik Lundqvist." [Blueshirt Banter]
The Sharks routed the Oilers 7-0. The series is tied 2-2. "In a complete team effort, the Sharks racked up seven goals and a shutout to put two consecutive playoff losses deep in the rear-view mirror." [Fear the Fin]