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Quick Strikes: J.T. Miller, Cedric Paquette, Slater Koekkoek, and Adam Erne all receive qualifying offers

and the John Tavares sweepstakes are well underway

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers
Cedric Paquette #13 of the Tampa Bay Lightning is congratulated by teammates Ryan McDonagh #27 and J.T. Miller #10 after Paquette scored a goal in the second period against the New York Rangers on March 30, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that they have extended qualifying offers to all of their players, except one. Adam Erne, Slater Koekkoek, J.T. Miller, and Cedric Paquette have all been giving a qualifying offer, meaning the Lightning will be able to retain them as RFA’s this summer. AHL tough guy Alex Gallant has not been offered a contract and will become a UFA on July 1st. [Tampa Bay Times]

Three days after Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he hoped to re-sign all of the team’s restricted free agents, the team issued qualifying offers to all four players, including forwards J.T. Miller and Cedric Paquette. By issuing the qualifying offers, the Lightning is now protected with a right of first refusal or draft pick compensation should any of the players choose to sign an offer sheet with another NHL team.

Yesterday in LA, the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders made their pitches to John Tavares. Each presentation took approximately two hours. We know this because there are reporters camped out in the CAA parking lot. It’s honestly wild. [Raw Charge]

With all that we’ve talked about the Lightning’s salary cap concerns especially in 2019-20 and beyond, it’s still a bit surprising that Steve Yzerman is taking the opportunity to meet with Tavaresand make his pitch. Yzerman has a few things going for him though: Tavares’ childhood friend Steven Stamkos, a great place to live, year round golf, and no state income tax.

According to reports by Elliotte Friedman, Michael Russo, and Joe Smith, Tom Kurvers might be leaving the Lightning organization and moving to Minnesota. [Sportsnet]

24. One possibility for Minnesota’s front office: Tom Kurvers, currently with Tampa. He’s from Minneapolis and was briefly new GM Paul Fenton’s teammate in Toronto.

The Prospects

Get to know our 2018 Draft Class! Our first player profile belongs to defenseman Dmitri Semykin. GeoFitz4 takes a look at what do we know about the big left-hander and what he could become one day. [Raw Charge]

For the third straight year, the Tampa Bay Lightning front office went way off board for a surprise pick from Russia. Last year, Alexander Volkov was taken in the second round. Very little was known about Volkov as he was off the radar for all of the public scouting services. He was a 20 year old playing in the Russian minor leagues and immediately signed and came to North America to play in the AHL for the Syracuse Crunch.

The Lightning reportedly have signed NCAA prospect Ross Colton to an NHL contract yesterday. Colton revealed the signing with a post on Instagram, while the Lightning nor the league have announced the deal yet. [Raw Charge]

Colton has good size, he is listed at 6’0” and 190 pounds. He is a center, but it’s also possible as a left hander that he could play left wing as a professional. He should be expected to go to the Syracuse Crunch this fall to make his professional debut. Colton has given up his last two years of NCAA eligibility by signing with the Lightning.

The Baby Bolts will spend the day today at the Wesley Chapel in Brandon, Florida today. They will get to spend some time with the kids, including playing road hockey and making arts and crafts. [Brandon Patch]

Activities will include taking pictures with young campers at the 2018 Lightning Made Summer Hockey Camp at Florida Hospital Center Ice, 3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd., Wesley Chapel, as well as playing street hockey and doing arts and crafts with kids at the Simmons Family Riverview Boys & Girls Club, 6809 Krycul Ave., Riverview.

The Game

Tuesday at 3pm EST will be the time when the Hockey Hall of Fame will reveal it’s inductees for the 2018 class. It is presumed Hayley Wickenheiser, Martin Brodeur, and MARTIN ST. LOUIS are locks to make it this year. Hopefull Willie O’Ree joins them. [NHL dot com]

Along with winning the Stanley Cup three times, Brodeur won the 1994 Calder Trophy as the best rookie in the NHL, the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie four times (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008) and the William M. Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it, five times (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2010).