Sunday: Associate Editor Alex has kicked off a new series called “Raw Charge Secret Santa” where one person from the masthead celebrates and highlights their favourite article their peer wrote. Natalia is one of our two Russian reporters at the site who are responsible for some of the best work we have to offer here at RC. Here is what Alex had to say about her. [Raw Charge]
It’s hard to describe how much value having two Russian translators on our site has brought. Natalia and Igor have spent hundreds of hours painstakingly transcribing articles and interviews out of Russia. Thanks to their work, Raw Charge has been able to bring both news and Russian interviews with players like Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Sergachev, Alex Volkov, Nikita Gusev, and Vladislav Namestnikov to our English-speaking readers.
No one really knows what happened, but an Erik Karlsson trade between the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning was close to being agreed upon by the two sides (potentially three if the New York Rangers got involved) on Thursday night, but talks have since slowed. We weren’t close to the trade call that was falsely reported, but the deal also isn’t off. Have hope, my friends.
No confirmation on the report out of Ottawa that a deal is done pending a trade call and while sense is this might be getting close, it's sounds like it's not to that point yet— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) July 6, 2018
Don’t expect any #TBLightning deal for Erik Karlsson anytime soon, per source. Not saying it won’t happen eventually, but nothing imminent or close.— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) July 6, 2018
The dynamics around an Erik Karlsson trade continue to be tricky, especially with Bobby Ryan and his remaining $30M potentially part of it. Talks are ongoing, but no guarantee something gets done quickly.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 6, 2018
Regardless of how this plays out. What I was told and reported, has not happened. That's 100% on me. I was told and said a deal was done, and only needed approval from the NHL. If that was the case, the deal would be done today. Sincere apologies to everyone. https://t.co/xw2nlv5cWk— Shawn Simpson (@TSNSimmer) July 6, 2018
Staying on Karlsson, the Lightning have an advantage over the Sens in these negotiations (okay, there are many), but one of them is that Tampa is Karlsson’s first choice. [Tampa Bay Times]
He is one of the 10 best hockey players on the planet, and he wants to be here, wants to join his friend and fellow Norris Trophy winner Victor Hedman. I think they’re going to use their trophies on the ice instead of cones for agility drills at training camp. That would make it three Swedes on the Lightning defense, counting Anton Stralman. Stockholm, sweet holm.
Personally, I don’t think the price for Karlsson is nearly as high as fans are speculating. It’s not Kucherov. Not by a long shot. However, here are a few names TBT put together, and I think all of them are plausible. [Tampa Bay Times]
Cal Foote: The Lightning’s 2017 first-round draft pick is only 19 and hasn’t played in the NHL, but the defenseman would be considered one of the team’s top prospects. He’s imposing at 6 feet 4 and isn’t far from playing in the NHL, but Tampa Bay has eight defensemen under contract for 2018-19, so his arrival in Tampa Bay would be more likely a year from now, after key veteran defensemen finish their contracts.
Speaking of young defensemen, Mikhail Sergachev is back in Russia, and he took part in an interview that went over his first two years in the NHL. He also weighs in on Brad Marchand of the Bruins licking teammate Ryan Callahan in the playoffs. [Raw Charge]
Mikhail Sergachev: I’m just 19 years old and I’m defensemen. [Coach Jon Cooper] thinks that it’s hard to play in the defense at this age. I understand that and I don’t wait him to give me 30 minutes every game. You need to earn it and I’m working on it right now.
The AHL Excellence Awards were handed out yesterday. Former Syracuse Crunch netminder Mike McKenna took home some hardware, but sadly the current itteration of the Crunch left without any bragging rights. [The AHL]
The Toronto Marlies (team of the year) and Mike McKenna of the Texas Stars (player excellence) were named the 2017-18 winners of the President’s Awards.
Goaltender Mike McKenna continued his consummate professional career into its 13th season in 2017-18, leading the Texas Stars to the Western Conference championship and making his second consecutive appearance in the Calder Cup Finals. McKenna also made two appearances with the Dallas Stars, including his first NHL start since 2015 and earning his first NHL win since 2013.
I may be a day (or two) late on this, but the news that Shea Weber underwent a secret surgery and will be out until January is too good to ignore. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
Weber suffered a meniscal tear in his right knee, and had arthroscopic knee surgery on the June 19 by Dr. LaPrade at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. The Canadiens did not release the news sooner because of the complexity of the situation as well as the upcoming NHL Draft and free agency period.
Once again, Jeff Petry will try to keep the defense core afloat all on his own. Going back to when Petry signed his deal, he said he came to Montreal to play behind PK Subban. This man doesn’t deserve what has happened to him. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
This isn’t unfamiliar territory for Petry, who played in all 82 games last year with the majority of them as the leader in ice time after Weber was sidelined with his foot injury. While losing Weber hurts, having Petry step into his role is at worst a lateral move given how well he’s performed since coming to Montreal from the Edmonton Oilers.
And lastly, Ryan Strome agreed to a two-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers, avoiding arbitration in the process. The oldest of the three Strome brothers will be making $3.1 million each year for the next two. [Copper and Blue]
What about Strome’s 2014-15 where he scored 50 points? Can that happen again? Maybe, though it would probably require a lot of first line time with (and a bucket of power play time) with Connor McDavid. Unless that happens, then no, I don’t think 50 points has a very good chance of happening again.