There were a few stories that came out of Tampa Bay Lightning’s camp yesterday. First and foremost, everyone reported on Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Vladislav Namestnikov reuniting on the first line. Hooray! It's fun to read Kucherov's perspective in the first story, and Stamkos's in Joe's -- bromance a'brewing!
After venting about Lightning, Kucherov gets his wish: Stamkos on his line. “I think sometimes we think the same way,” Kucherov said. “You can see it on the ice. I always know where ‘Stammer’ is going to be, and I’m sure he knows where I’m going to be. It’s just so much fun playing with him.” [NBC Sports]
After frustrated Kucherov speaks out, maybe it's time for Lightning to make changes. "But maybe Kucherov’s words are indicative of something more than his own frustration and maybe it’s a sign that something more needs to change. With or without Steven Stamkos, who missed the majority of the season with a knee injury, the Lightning’s season should have been more successful." [THN]
Lightning top line with Stamkos and Kucherov reunites. "I think we are just able to read off each other," Stamkos said. "We're pretty smart hockey players and have some speed, skill. And with the amount of success we had earlier in the year, it just felt like there was no guessing on the ice. We knew if one guuy was in trouble, the other guy was going to be close for support and the other guy would be on the other side of the ice." [Tampa Bay Times]
Second story coming out of camp was that Espo looked into Jonathan Drouin's eyes and saw he didn't want to be in Tampa. That's fine, he'll have much less pressure in Montreal.
Esposito on Drouin: 'I didn't think he wanted to be here'. "Personally I didn't think he wanted to be here. I saw it in his eyes, the way he played. I thought (GM Steve Yzerman) made the right move. (Drouin) is going to love being in Montreal, that's where he's from. But he has no idea the pressure that's going to be on him if he doesn't produce. He has no idea." [Tampa Bay Times]
The third story was about the status of Anton Stralman. He was hurt, but now he's skating, albeit in a no-contact jersey. Queue the worried articles about aging curves and decline? I hope not, but trust me, Stralman’s health will be a storyline we follow at Raw Charge.
Anton Stralman makes training camp debut on Sunday. "The encouraging part is he's back on the ice," Cooper said. "I would anticipate him next couple of days being back at practice." [NHL.com]
Our site did the 25th CrunchCast, and it was EXCITING. Here's the first of the brand-new season. "Just a handful of weeks from the beginning of hockey season, Brandon and Alex are back on the air to speculate and preview the upcoming Syracuse Crunch campaign." [Raw Charge]
Our unofficial ECHL team honored Dave Strader. Longtime hockey broadcaster Strader honored in Glens Falls. “Dave Strader is the play-by-play voice for the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars. He spent years calling NHL games for NBC. He got his start by calling games for the American Hockey League's Adirondack Red Wings in Glens Falls. Strader is battling bile duct cancer. On Saturday, the press box at the Cool Insuring Arena was named in his honor. Strader says that's where he developed a love for the sport he would make a career.” [WNYT]
Best of luck in your new digs, Dan!
How many are still without power? Depends on where you look. "As of Sunday afternoon at 6 p.m., the latest report from the Florida Division of Emergency Management reported 100 percent of Hillsborough County residents as having power restored, despite a map from Tampa Electric showing there are still about 500 customers still without power. Tampa Electric is the main provider in Hillsborough County." [Tampa Bay Times]