Despite not having a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning kept themselves busy, signing back-up goaltender Louis Domingue to a two-year one-way contract with an AAV of $1.15 million. It’s pretty clear that he’s the back-up for Andrei Vasilevskiy now. [Raw Charge]
Domingue makes an ideal back-up for Vasilevskiy as a player that has 96 games of NHL experience. While his career has been somewhat up-and-down, that has to be put into the context of being on a sub-par Coyotes team for his first two full years in the NHL. He’s also still fairly young and has enjoyed good health. He’s a more than capable back-up and will be an essential part in providing rest for Vasilevskiy without being a liability in net.
The Lightning also promoted Jeff Halpern from assistant coach with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, to assistant coach for the big club. [Raw Charge]
Going back to Halpern as a coach, the official press release says Halpern “worked closely with the organization’s prospects in Syracuse to assist with individual development.” This is a sentiment echoed by Raw Charge Associate Editor Alex Ackerman, who described his role as one that “focused mostly on player needs, especially helping the younger players — whom the Crunch had 11 of this past season — navigate the professional world of hockey for the first time.”
The 2018-19 regular season schedule for the Tampa Bay Lightning is out, so I did a deep dive into how the schedule affects the team, both positively and negatively, as well as how the Lightning might handle parts of the year based on previous experience. [Raw Charge]
The Bolts will have to play 11 back-to-backs next season, and in a lot of cases the second half of the double header involves travel. On the bright side, eight of those trips are only one state or province away or less. Relatively speaking, Tampa has it pretty good when it comes to having to play back-to-backs. Tampa had 10 back-to-backs last season, which is among the easiest schedules in the league in that regard.
Steve Yzerman has picks 59, 90, 121, 152, 183, 206, and 214 today. How will his draft strategy evolve this year compared to previous years? Geo takes a look. [Raw Charge]
In Part One yesterday, we looked at the 2011-2013 draft classes. Those classes were important as they set the tone for the direction Steve Yzerman and Al Murray were taking the team. There were some important strategy decisions made in restocking the bare cupboard of the Lightning’s prospect pipeline. In 2014, we saw a small shift and then another shift in 2016.
If you look closely, you’ll see that Drew Doughty was second to a Bolt then, and he still is now.
Okay, let’s do a quick recap of the NHL Draft’s first round, broken down by team (with the players draft number in brackets) because who cares about draft rankings anymore. The links to the players names will send you to the draft post about them by the SBN site of the team.
Boston Bruins: no picks.
Pittsburgh Penguins: no picks.
Nashville Predators: no picks.
Winnipeg Jets: no picks.
Arizona Coyotes: Barrett Hayton (5)
Calgary Flames: no picks.
Vegas Golden Knights: no picks
Aside from a few pick-for-pick trades made on the draft floor, one of the bigger names on the market was dealt. The Avalanche acquired Washington Capitals back-up Philipp Grubauer along with aging defenseman Brooks Orpik in exchange for a second-round pick, the 47th overall pick in this year’s draft to be specific. [Mile High Hockey]
Orpik, on the other hand, will add some veteran presence and potential bottom pairing depth to the Avalanche blue line. Unless what Pierre LeBrun is saying is true, and the Avalanche intend to either trade or buy-out Orpik’s final year at $5.5 million. A buy-out will cost Colorado $1.5 million in the first year (2018-19), and $2.5 million in the second year (2019-20).
The Avs intend to either trade Orpik and if they can't find a trade partner, they will probably buy him out... Colorado has already spoken to Grubauer's agent as well. He's RFA. Contract shouldn't be an issue. https://t.co/t9RaWfCbU6— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 22, 2018