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Quick Strikes: Contracts, countdowns, and...NASCAR?

Some fun and quite varied news for your Thursday.

Syracuse Crunch Mitchell Stephens (67) celebrates his goal against the Rochester Americans in American Hockey League (AHL) Calder Cup Playoff action at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Syracuse won 6-3.
Scott Thomas Photography

The Bolts

It’s challenging for NHL teams to stay competitive in the salary cap era, but Tampa Bay Lightning general manger Steve Yzerman manages it with a possibly surprising secret weapon: modified trade clauses. [Raw Charge]

Without diving into too much detail, NMCs and NTCs do exactly what they imply - they prevent a player from being moved (either via trade or assignment to the minor leagues) or being traded. A modified clause provides exceptions to those rules - specifically, players submit a list of teams to which they can be traded.

The Prospects

Geo discusses Lightning prospect Mitchell Stephens and why he clocked in at #13 on our Top 25 Under 25. [Raw Charge]

This past season was Stephens’ first full year in professional hockey. He, like many others on the Crunch roster, struggled to start the season. As the team picked up their play after a rough couple months to open the season, his stats started to come around and he eventually put up 19 goals and 41 points in 70 games. He also earned an AHL All-Star Game nod for his performance. Stephens added another goal and six points in seven playoff games.

The Onondaga County War Memorial, home of the Syracuse Crunch, is undergoing a lot of changes this summer. Some are physical changes to the building’s structure, where others are purely cosmetic...but very pretty!

The Game

Reminder that the Crunch has teamed up with Vegas Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch and is doing a fundraiser for a local CNY cause tonight!

Colorado prospect Dominic Toninato kicks off the Avalanche’s 2018 Top 25 Under 25 countdown. [Mile High Hockey]

A former Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, Toninato played four full years at the University of Minnesota-Deluth. When he was signed by the Avalanche, not many saw him as anything more than organizational depth and a guy that would be around the AHL for a while.

Toninato impressed right away.

Hockey and pizza go together like bread and butter, right? Avalanche forward Matt Calvert dished about his favorite meals from a local restaurant and threw in a pretty sweet Happy Gilmore impression.

Our dear ol’ dad Seldo makes the case for Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Dakota Joshua. [Pension Plan Puppets]

A player I’ve had interest in since he was drafted, and following along each NCAA season, to see his production more than double in his sophomore year, but fall by 30% in his junior. He’s heading into his senior year with the challenge of upping his game to out perform his second season in college and impress enough scouts to either get a contract offer from the Toronto Maple Leafs or another NHL team if he becomes a free agent next August.

Jarome Iginla announced his retirement yesterday, and stories have surfaced from his time as a player, including this touching tale:

All teams in the AHL will be working with A&R Sports, the leading American manufacturer of premium quality accessories for the sporting goods industry. [The AHL]

‘It’s an honor and privilege for A&R Sports to be partnering with such a high-caliber league as the AHL. As a company, we have always taken great pride in seeing our logo worn by some of the greatest athletes on the planet and this partnership further solidifies our commitment to producing the toughest gear for the toughest games.’

-Russell Grodin, Vice President of A&R Sports

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, farm club of the Philadelphia Flyers, have a car racing this weekend at Pocono Raceway. The Phantoms will be the primary sponsor of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Timmy Hills and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Josh Reaume.

Second round votes for The Sin Bin’s Logo Tournament are now being collected. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Crunchman made the cut. [The Sin Bin]

The tournament field consists of the 32 best logos as chosen by a panel of experts: Phil Hecken from uni-watch.com, Tyler Earles from Earles Design, Alex from N2B Designs and The Sin Bin’s own Gear Guru Mark Grainda. The panel was tasked with selecting their top ten logos from current or defunct teams in the American Hockey League, ECHL, Southern Professional Hockey League, Central Hockey League and the second iteration of the International Hockey League.

The St. Louis Blues’ new AHL partner, the San Antonio Rampage, is looking forward to getting started with their new farm team. During their recent prospect camp, newly hired Rampage head coach Drew Bannister discussed the upcoming season.

What do mascots do during the summer? Why, the same thing as everyone else!