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Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov ‏stirs up the rumor mill

Kuch encourages us to take a break from Erik Karlsson rumors and instead starts up the mill on his own.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Headline:

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov obviously cares about the stress all of those Erik Karlsson rumors have created. To distract us all, he instead briefly got the Twitterverse all...twittering?...with this tweet involving Artemi Panarin:

The Bolts:

The Lightning caught up with Anton Stralman yesterday:

We want a return of The Storm jerseys. That’s our stance, and we’re sticking to it! [Raw Charge]

Besides, if you’re longing for nostalgia, the Storm jersey is the perfect snapshot of the early Lighting organization jersey. It debuted in 1996 and lasted three glorious years before quietly slipping into retirement. The rain, the waves, the lightning bolts down the arms and the crazy fonts. It all combines into one glorious perfect mess. If you had to describe the Lightning from 1996 to 1999 wouldn’t “glorious mess” be the simplest way to do it?

By the way - we’re not the only ones!

The Prospects

The Orlando Solar Bears, the Lightning’s ECHL team, announced the signing of center Robbie Baillargeon for the 2018-19 season. Although Baillargeon does not currently have a deal that would let him play for the Syracuse Crunch, he’s another player the organization could go to for a professional tryout contract or an AHL contract. [Raw Charge]

Baillargeon was acquired by the Solar Bears last season at the trade deadline from the South Carolina Stingrays. He scored nine assists in 21 games for South Carolina and added another four assists in eight games for the Solar Bears. He also took part in six games with one assist during the playoffs.

The game

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced some new front office promotions and additions yesterday. [Toronto Maple Leafs]

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has elevated Scott Pellerin to the role of Senior Director of Player Development and Stéphane Robidas to the club’s Director of Player Development, in addition to hiring Hayley Wickenheiser as the club’s Assistant Director of Player Development. The Maple Leafs have also hired Noelle Needham as an Amateur Scout based in the Midwestern United States and Victor Carneiro as an Amateur Scout based in Ontario.

What do these hires reveal about the Leafs? That they are choosing the best and most qualified applicants. End of story. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Miro Heiskanen, currently a prospect within the Dallas Stars organization, likes the number he was given, thank you very much.

Writer Kevin Power feels that New York Rangers prospect Filip Chytil would benifit from starting this upcoming season with the Hartford Wolfpack. [Blue Shirt Banter]

After seeing the brief flashes from the teenager it is very tantalizing to let #ChytilMania run wild and pencil the kid into the Rangers’ top six to see what they have there. While very tempting, I think we have to add some context and pull back a bit on the reins here.

Former NHL’er Ryan Parent has been named as an assistant coach of the Binghamton Devils, farm club of the New Jersey Devils. [Binghamton Devils]

“Ryan’s playing career will provide invaluable experience as he takes the next step to transition into coaching,” said Fitzgerald. “He will be able to relate to all the players he will have to coach at this level- draft picks looking to establish themselves, young players looking to learn good habits and players who know what it takes to make it to the NHL.”

Tracey updates her readers on her personal blog about what’s going on with the Lightning’s former ECHL farm team, the Adirondack Thunder, starting with the coaching staff. [Thoughts Inside the Box]

Associate coach Alex Loh was promoted to head coach and Director of Hockey Operations. This will be Loh’s first head coaching opportunity after being an assistant with the Thunder since the team moved from Stockton in 2015, moving up to the Associate Coach role last season.

Tatiana Rafter, who played in the NWHL last season, has signed with Arktik-Universitet Ukhta. [The Ice Garden]

SK Gorny will be hoping that the 5-foot-9 Canadian and the 5-foot-4 Russian will be able to develop some chemistry and give the team more bite in the offensive zone than it had last season. Kadirova and company finished outside the playoffs last year with a record of 4-17-3 and a -44 goal differential.

Hannah Brandt comes in at 9th on the 2018 Women’s Hockey Top 25 Under 25 countdown. [The Ice Garden]

In hockey, center depth wins championships. Brandt played a pivotal role on Team USA’s gold medal-winning roster at Pyeongchang. She’s undoubtedly one of the best centers in the game, and she’s only getting better.

This is awesome. That’s all.