It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed like Erik Karlsson to the Lightning was a done deal and all that we were waiting for was a phone call to the league. Now, nothing. No rumors, no reports, no updates just a vast swath of emptiness. In fact, there isn’t much going on in the world of hockey other than a little gloried exhibitions like Da Beauty League.
With most of the big name reporters enjoying their off-season (even our own Hardev Lad has winged away on vacation) we don’t expect much to change. Still, we’ll try our best to bring the news as it happens.
The Top 25 Under 25 series is up to number 17 and it belongs to someone making a debut this year - Alex Barre-Boulet. [Raw Charge]
This isn’t to say Barré-Boulet was a first rounder, in my opinion he was more likely a late second or early to mid third round talent. Regardless, he was still a real offensive threat for those two years and should’ve been drafted. Why wasn’t he? Barré-Boulet’s size was a consistent worry by scouts (and apparently teams) as was his skating ability and two-way play.
Want to work for the Lightning? They have an opening for a Digital Video Intern this fall [Tampa Bay Lightning]
edits? Strong storytelling abilities? A love for hockey?— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 19, 2018
We’re looking for you! ⬇️ https://t.co/pSPy6cUDFz
Oleg Sosunov is tall. He could also be another late-round steal for the Lightning. [The Athletic (subscription required)]
By now you’ve seen the photos, courtesy of @CaleyChelios. But here’s the story behind #tblightning defense prospect Oleg Sosunov. Why the 6-foot-8 Russian could be a hidden gem in system https://t.co/Og3GvxXcim pic.twitter.com/XtNnGHx3Z8— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) July 19, 2018
The Lightning must have mic’d up every prospect at development camp. Newcomer Alex-Barre-Boulet is up net. [NHL.com]
Jayna Hefford’s excellent 2018 continues. The Hall of Fame inductee was just named interim commissioner of the CWHL. She taked over for Brenda Andress who had held the role since the league’s inception back in 2007. [The Ice Garden]
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan ranks the teams with the best locked-in young talent. The Lightning didn’t make the final cut despite having several really good players aged 27 or younger. They were perhaps hurt by the lack of long-term deals for Andrei Vasilevskiy, Brayden Point and Mikhail Sergachev. Still, you would think a core of Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, JT Miller and Ondrej Palat would make the top 10. [ESPN]
Chris Chelios, the father of the Lightning’s Caley Chelios, is leaving the Detroit Red Wings organization to be closer to his family in Chicago. This marks the end of an almost 20-year relationship with the organization [Winging it in Motown]
Remember last year when the Vegas franchise finally came up with a name for their team and the U.S. Army was concerned that people might confuse a hockey team with a parachute exhibition team? Well, that’s been resolved. [Las Vegas Sun]
Speaking of legal cases, the on-going concussion lawsuit between the league and former players was denied class-action status. Prepare to see a lot of individual cases against the league filed. [The Hockey News]
Things to Do in the Tampa Bay area this weekend
Since there is no hockey this weekend here are some things going on in the area to help you pass the time.
Rascal Flatts - Friday 7:30pm at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
Chicago and REO Speedwagon - Saturday 7:30pm at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
The Tampa Bay Rays return from the All Star break with a weekend series against the Florida Marlins. Games are at 7:10pm on Friday, 6:10pm on Saturday and 1:10pm on Sunday. Saturday is DJ Kitty mascot head day.
Two area minor-league teams continue their series as the Dunedin Blue Jays host the Tampa Tarpons on Friday and Saturday at 6:30pm
Meanwhile the Clearwater Threshers host the awesomely named Florida Fire Frogs on Friday and Saturday as well. Both games start at 6:15pm.
Tampa Roller Derby is having their kickoff training training on Saturday. If you’re interested, details are on their Facebook page. [Tampa Roller Derby Facebook]