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Quick Strikes: New development in Channelside and meet Jon Cooper’s golf buddies

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New Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde is a long-time friend of head coach Jon Cooper.

Tampa Bay Lightning Practice Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

New Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde is a long-time friend of Jon Cooper and Detroit Red Wings’ coach Jeff Blashill. Joe Smith went in depth at The Athletic on their background together including an annual golf outing in Michigan that features the three coaches and several other prominent hockey people.

The article also contained a small nugget on Lalonde’s role:

When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman shook up his coaching staff in June, letting go of veteran associate coach Rick Bowness and assistant Brad Lauer, he said they desired some “new, fresh voices.” Former Lightning forward Jeff Halpern was promoted from AHL Syracuse to work with the forwards, and Lalonde was brought in from the outside.

The bench will have a different look, with assistant Todd Richards possibly moving back to work with the defense (Bowness’ old role) and Lalonde saying he’ll work on all elements. But, just as important, there should be a more cohesive dynamic for a Lightning coaching staff team feeling pressure to get the veteran-laden team over the hump and finally win the Stanley Cup.

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s development company unveiled a new plan for waterfront re-development in channelside. The area is dubbed Sparkman Wharf and according to the article:

When complete in early 2020, Sparkman Wharf will include about 180,000 square feet of office lofts, 65,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, plus a 1-acre outdoor space with a lawn, outdoor dining and beer garden.

The Prospects

Our Top 25 Under 25 series will feature two goalies. Yesterday, we covered the first. Connor Ingram landed in 12th place in this year’s rankings. He’ll head into the season as the starter in Syracuse and look to take another step toward showing he has an NHL future.

Alex did a great job telling to the story of Ingram’s season:

Not long after, Domingue was recalled to the Lightning to replace an injured Peter Budaj, and suddenly Ingram found himself the star of Syracuse’s show. His performance was highlighted by a team-wide bid fueled by desperation to turn the team’s season towards the playoffs. Although the organization had recalled Nick Riopel to help out in Syracuse, it was fairly clear that Ingram was going to be looked to for #1 duties.

Ingram took the reins and helped his team achieve six victories in nine games during the month of January, only getting a brief break in the middle of the month when Domingue was sent to get in a few games. At the end of the month, Ingram had achieved 10 wins in his last 14 games. More importantly, the Crunch was starting to look like a team with playoff potential, thanks in no small part to their netminder.

The Game

The Vancouver Canucks seem intent on continuing to be one of the worst run franchises in the league. First, team President Trevor Linden announced his surprise resignation last night. The team then announced that GM Jim Benning would be assuming full responsibility for hockey operations, which...just can’t be good.

The resignation did create some optimism in the fan base that maybe the team would finally hire someone competent over Benning and that might lead them out of the pit of despair they’ve suffered in for the last few years. Instead, Elliotte Friedman reported earlier today that Dean Lombardi is a candidate for the job.

Lombardi is exactly the kind of status quo maintainer the team doesn’t need. The end of his tenure in Los Angeles with the Kings was atrocious both on and off the ice.

Here’s an updated list of remaining arbitration cases via Cap Friendly:

Plenty of fun names left on this list. The Senators will almost certainly provide some quality entertainment. Will they overpay Cody Ceci? Probably! Will Mark Stone take a one-year deal from the arbitrator and join Erik Karlsson as a pending unrestricted free agent? Probably! Will the Senators front office do a good job of managing that situation? Probably not!

I have no idea what William Karlsson is and if I was Vegas, I would like the arbitrator decide what he makes next season and punt the decision on a long-term deal to next summer. He went from being a fine bottom-six option in Columbus to a forty goal scorer last year. That’s nonsense and anyone who says they know how to evaluate what he should get on a long-term deal is lying.