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Quick Strikes: The Top 25 Under 25 list for the Tampa Bay Lightning ends with Andrei Vasilevskiy

What did your T25U25 look like? How did it compare to the final list? Did we get a player horribly wrong? We probably did.

Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five
Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning stops a shot from Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 19, 2018 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be getting some more natioanlly televised games next season. Their totals still pale in comparison to bottom-of-the-central Chicago Blackhawks for some reason, but at least it’s a start. [Raw Charge]

So, gone is the “Wednesday Night Rivalry” gimmick the NHL had been using for the last few seasons, and in comes “Wednesday Night Hockey”. The name is a bit bland, but hey, if it brings in different teams other than the Original Six 90% of the time, then I’m down for it.

Additionally, NBC plans to have earlier start times for Wednesday night games. In previous seasons, Wednesday night games started at 8pm EST, but this season they are starting at 7 or 7:30pm EST. This includes doubleheaders as well. Also, there are other games that are scheduled to start at 9:30pm EST (mostly Western teams), which is earlier than in previous years as well.

As Justin continues his retrospective on some of the best hat tricks in Lightning history, we would be remise if we didn’t include Teddy Purcell’s! [Raw Charge]

Purcell was acquired at the previous trade deadline along with a third round pick from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Jeff Halpern. He found a home early playing on the right wing for Vincent Lecavalier. A shoulder injury eventually slowed him and led to him being traded to the Edmonton Oilers just a year after signing a fairly big three-year contract. 2010-11 was a breakout season for the right winger as he scored 17 goals and 51 points after having only amassed 11 goals and 34 points in his previous 110 NHL games.

The Prospects

The Tampa bay Lightning have a new affiliate in the ECHL. The Orlando Solar Bears have ended their relationship with the Toronto Maple Leafs and have joined a much more local NHL franchise. Read our pros and cons for this move, and chime in your own if you have any! [Raw Charge]

Today all of our speculation was put to rest. The Lightning have announced a three-year affiliation with the Solar Bears (covered up until now by Pension Plan Puppets), and will make the announcement on the ice at the preseason game at Amway. Will there be a season ticket holder benefit for this game for Orlando fans? One (okay, me) can only hope.

It was always you, Can’t believe I could not see it all this time, All this time. Of course Andrei Vasilevskiy is our top player under 25! The best young goaltender in the NHL, a Vezina finalist, at the most important position in the game. At the bottom of this articcle, you will find links to all 25 Top 25 Under 25 articles we have done this summer. It was an amazing effort by all in the Raw Charge masthead, and I am very proud of them all. [Raw Charge]

We wrap up our Top 25 ranking with The Big Cat himself, Andrei Vasilevskiy. Given his hot start, Vezina nomination, and steady play in the postseason, it was going to be hard to beat out Vasilevskiy for the top spot (unless your name is Nikita Kucherov, but he aged out of this list so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). Much of what the Tampa Bay Lightning accomplished this season was thanks to the play of Vasilevskiy.

The Game

What goes into rebuilding an entire hockey franchise? Are the New York Rangers doing it right? [Blueshirt Banter]

In spite the organization’s clear message throughout the early stages of the process, confusion has arose regarding what their intentions truly are. Is this a classic five year plan where the team expects to be very bad for very long and stockpiles future assets in the meantime? Or is it one that Jeff Gorton and company envision returning to relevance during the final years of Henrik Lundqvist’s contract and taking one final run with their franchise goaltender?

Shea Weber is getting old. He’s also had two major injuries in the past year. How much can the Montreal Canadiens trust the big, aging defenseman who was traded for Norris finalist PK Subban? [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

Unfortunately, for the Canadiens and Weber, he had another serious injury that had to be handled with major surgery this offseason. Following the draft and free-agent frenzy, it was announced that Weber would undergo arthroscopic knee surgery for a meniscal tear is his right knee. With the procedure taking place in June, and the recovery projected at around six months, the cornerstone of the Montreal blue line is now likely to return sometime in late November or early December.

Top 25 Under 25: The Final Ranking