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Quick Strikes: Everything you need to know about Tampa Bay and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson trade talks

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Travis Yost, picks + prospects, and penny pinching

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Ottawa Senators v Tampa Bay Lightning
Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators reacts as members of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal at the Amalie Arena on December 10, 2015 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning trade talks are past the boiling point and are not spilling over the edge of the pot and all over the stove. TSN’s Travis Yost appears to have an inside track on the dealings of the Ottawa Senators, who own Erik Karlsson, for now? [Raw Charge]

Previously we’d balked at a trade for Karlsson because the price of this 1.5 year rental would be too high. Our speculation was, maybe, “Karlsson for Namestnikov, Raddysh, Hajek, a 1st and a conditional 1st if he’s re-signed.” But since then, Yzerman said to Joe Smith that he would not be willing to trade any current roster players for Karlsson...

Karlsson to Tampa clamouring began at the all-Star Game and most likely won’t die until everyone wakes up on Tuesday morning (before it heats back up about a week before the NHL Draft). [Tampa Bay Times]

Karlsson, 27, took his time talking up several members of Tampa Bay’s staff in the hallway outside the dressing room. The two-time Norris Trophy winner got to know the Lightning group a lot more during the January All-Star Game in Tampa, staying all weekend at good friend Victor Hedman’s Davis Islands home. And it’s common for opposing players to visit with each other postgame. It’s a small world, after all.

2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game - Atlantic v Metropolitan
Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators celebrate after a goal in the first half during the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game between the Atlantic Division and the Metropolitan Divison at Amalie Arena on January 28, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

GM Steve Yzerman does not want to take away from the top-20 players on his team, he’s trying to add. [Pierre LeBrun The Athletic]

Again, in no way was I asking him about a potential Karlsson trade, but you can certainly read between the lines. And it means whether it’s Ryan McDonagh or any other trade target, it would seem the Lightning do not want to touch their core NHL roster. Which I wouldn’t want to either if you’re trying to put out your best possible team on the ice to win a Stanley Cup this year.

“Can the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup?” Well their window is now. [Tampa Bay Times]

If you have watched this team of late, you can see it gives up way too many shots and scoring chances. The Lightning gives up more shots than it takes, which is stunning considering how loaded it is offensively.

And because it gives up so many chances, it is giving up way too many goals, though goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has been absolutely phenomenal. It’s hard to imagine where this team would be without him. Even when the Lightning wins, there are moments when it feels like the team makes it harder than it needs to be, that the games end up closer than they should be.

Crosby, Malkin, Kessel. Matthews, Nylander, Marner. Bergeron, Pastrnak, Marchand. Who scares you the most? Let us know in our fan poll! [Raw Charge]

The Lightning are still in very good shape, with a 25 point lead over fourth place Florida, heading into Thursday night. At this point, missing the postseason would require nothing less than what could only be labeled a complete and utter systemic collapse of almost unheard of epic proportions.

Queen of the Syracuse Crunch Alexandra Ackerman flew south for the sole purpose of recording a Charged Up podcast (okay, maybe not solely for the podcast, Harry Potter World is also kinda cool, but she did one while she was here!). [Raw Charge]

The Prospects

Looking ahead to next year, who among the Lightning’s prospect pool requires an entry-level deal, something that will push the Bolts closer to the 5-man roster limit. [Raw Charge]

There aren’t very many prospects out there unsigned since the Lightning got a lot of deals done this time last year and over the summer for second-year CHLers. But there are a few that spent this season playing for contracts and some that just haven’t gotten done yet.

Eddie Pasquale and Dustin Tokarski have had a history since a fateful line brawl five years ago. Last night, Eddie and the Syracuse Crunch beat Dustin and his Lehigh Valley Phantoms for a 2-1 win. Michael Bournival producing both goals for the Crunch. [Auburn Pub]

“He’s probably excited. He played here for a long time and did really well here,” Pasquale said. “He’s a goalie that if you don’t bring your A game, you’re not going to win. He’s been around a long time and had a lot of success. We had a good duel tonight, and it’s good to get the win.”

#8 is an odd number for a goalie, but it means the world to Eddie Pasquale that he can wear it in Syracuse. [Syracuse]

He couldn’t wear it in the pros, however, because most organizations frown upon their players wearing such high digits. Except for one season when he wore No. 32, Pasquale has worn No. 40 his entire pro career. Earlier this year, Pasquale was traded from the Edmonton organization to Tampa Bay. The Lightning gives its players the option to wear almost any number available.

Callen Foote — who has not yet been traded for Karlsson on-for-one — scored once and had three shots in Kelowna’s 5-4 win over Seattle. Foote has now surpassed his totals from the 2016-17 season in 20 fewer games. [Bolt Prospects]

After falling behind 2-0 at the 1st intermission, Foote opens the Rockets scoring just 19 seconds into the 2nd period and sparks a four-goal rally by Kelowna. But the visiting T-birds would push back, knotting the score at 4-4 with two goals of their own before the Kole Lind (VAN, 2017 2nd round pick) potted the game-winner for the Rockets with just 80 seconds remaining in regulation. Dillon Dube (CGY, 2016 2nd round pick) paced Kelowna with a goal and an assist.

The Game

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews is considered out day-to-day — aka 7-10 days for those fluent in the Babcock dialect — with a shoulder injury. Does this change what the Leafs do at the trade deadline? [The Hockey News]

As New York Islanders right winger Cal Clutterbuck told THN after Thursday’s game at the Air Canada Centre, it was a strange, freak play that hurt Matthews, who had notched his team-leading 28th goal in the third period to send the game to overtime. Isles defenseman Adam Pelech thought he had Matthews lined up – but so did Clutterbuck. The result was an unplanned pincer attack.

Friday’s Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vegas Golden Knights three-way Derrick Brassard trade was a hot mess from beginning to end. Here are the tweets:

Damn Eugene Melnyk, you’re cheaper than Point’s contract.

LOL.

Oh no, we’re making NHL GM’s count past three.

Ottawa sends Brassard to Vegas, then Vegas sends Brassard to Pittsburgh. Isn’t that only two?

Finally...

Here is Pensburgh with a final recap of the trade and it’s implications. [Pensburgh]

Lindberg and Dunn both seem like longshot NHL prospects, but Pittsburgh is an organization that lacks a lot of 20-24 year old forwards in their organization, so who knows what the future may hold. Lindberg does have 6 games of NHL experience with Toronto in 2015-16. Dunn is more an AHL/ECHL level guy who racks up penalty minutes and doesn’t seem like a high ceiling type of guy.

What’s the market value this time of the year? Dom L. explains. [The Athletic]

Okay, I’ve kept you long enough. Here’s the highlight of the night, have a great Saturday!

Highlight of the Night: Minny Chemistry!