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Quick Strikes: Caps raise the Cup and the Lightning re-sign Daniel Walcott

A review of news pertaining to hockey from the last 24 hours.

Syracuse Crunch Daniel Walcott (85) congratulates goalie Connor Ingram (39) on his first American Hockey League (AHL) Calder Cup Playoff game against the Rochester Americans at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Syracuse won 6-3.
Scott Thomas Photography

The Stanley Cup Final

The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas last night defeating the Golden Knights 4-3 to finish the series in five games. Alex Ovechkin won the Conn Smythe. The win ends years of playoff struggles for the Caps and means that for the third time in four years, the Lightning were again eliminated from the playoffs by the Cup champion.

The Bolts

Voting for the NHL Fan Choice Awards has started. Fans can vote with one vote per category per person per day. Voting ends June 11. If you scroll down a bit, you can vote for Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s mask. [NHL]

We love Yanni Gourde almost as much as we love Brayden Point. Seems as though you all agreed with us! [Raw Charge]

Gourde is the only player in this group to earn a grade in the A range. He joins Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Brayden Point as the only forwards to earn grades that high. Much like we discussed with Brayden Point, I think the grading here is an indication of the excitement about Gourde. Seeing a player from an unheralded background emerge as a legitimate top-six option on a good team is impressive and our grades rewarded him for that.

The SBNation NHL mock draft continued Wednesday with picks six through eight. We broke those picks down and speculated about what’s next. [Raw Charge]

This article will cover the Red Wings picking Adam Boqvist via Wingin’ it in Motown, the Canucks picking Noah Dobson via Nucks Misconduct, and Chicago picking Oliver Wahlstrom via Second City Hockey.

Yesterday was a pretty significant anniversary for Tampa Bay:

Something, something, Steven Stamkos and a doggo!

The Prospects

Perhaps the biggest news in Lightning land yesterday was that the Bolts have re-signed pending RFA Daniel Walcott to a one-year contract. Crunch fans: Rejoice! [Raw Charge]

Walcott is a key part of the Crunch roster so his re-signing will be welcomed in Syracuse. Players who can fill depth roles in multiple positions are extra valuable in the AHL where the NHL parent club can sometimes put the AHL club in difficult roster situations. Walcott’s ability to play anywhere gives the Crunch extra coverage for injuries in either Syracuse or Tampa.

The Game

Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson has been keeping his own blog throughout the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. In Wednesday's entry, he talked of his goal of bringing the Cup to Humboldt, Saskatchewan. [NHL]

So if we win the Stanley Cup, for my day I’d love to get Kaleb and Brayden and their teammates and whoever they want to invite out there just to see them. I haven’t seen them since the accident.

What would be better than celebrating it with those guys and enjoying it with them?

Rookie Aleksi Saarela of the Carolina Hurricane’s organization is looking forward to advancing past his rookie season. [Go Checkers]

After coming up through Finland’s top league, Saarela made the jump to North America at the tail-end of the 2016-17 season and turned heads by racking up six goals and 10 points during his nine-game stint with the Checkers.

Coming over full time turned out to be a much bigger transition than he anticipated, however.

“I didn’t realize how tough it was traveling and playing 76 games,” he said. “But I enjoyed it. The veteran guys helped a lot. They talked a lot to us in the room and were a big help all year.”

The Toronto Marlies wanted their bus in Texas as they play the Stars in the Calder Cup final. They got it.

The American Hockey League announced yesterday that more than $5.7 million was raised for different charities over the course of the 2017-18 season by the AHL and its 30 member. [The AHL]

In addition to monies raised, AHL teams gave back to their local communities through numerous activities, including more than 1,300 visits by players and coaches to schools, hospitals, libraries and other locations and more than 2,500 mascot appearances. More than 170,000 game tickets were donated to local charitable groups, and items such as food, coats, holiday gifts and hockey equipment were collected at various drives organized by AHL clubs.