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Quick Strikes: We have a trade to announce...

Jeff Skinner has been traded to the Buffalo Sabres, a place where he would definitely waive his NMC to go to...seriously

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Tampa Bay Lightning v Carolina Hurricanes
I swear, every picture of Skinner against the Lightning are of him falling down in some way
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Bolts

Igor Nikonov brings knowledge and facts to Raw Charge as one of our two Russian correspondants who cover the Tampa Bay Lightning. [Raw Charge]

“I didn’t even think about it” and “Well, that’s great” are both solid contenders for the title of the most Nikita Kucherov sentence ever. Note how the latter sounds slightly dismissive although it’s actually not—just like in the original interview. Maybe dismissive isn’t even the right word... Well, whatever vibe this sentence is giving you, I swear it matches what Kuch actually said.

Martin St. Louis’ partner in c=crime on the Hall of Famer’s career leading up to his induction.

The Tampa Bay Lightning management group is among the most trustworthy and capable in the league, according to the fans. [The Athletic]

The Lightning organization remains the class of the league, finishing first, third and first again in the three-year run of this survey. From top to bottom, Tampa Bay has been a first-class organization in every category – a model franchise that is the envy of the majority of the league. They’ve built an elite team via a multitude of avenues while somehow maintaining some flexibility in the process (relative to the team’s talent level of course).

Former Bolts having fun fishing.

The Prospects

Mathieu Joseph is the seventh best player in the Lightning organization under the age of 25. The not only are expecting Joseph to take a step forward in his development, and perhaps vye for a spot on the opening night roster if he can. [Raw Charge]

Joseph has certainly earned himself a fair amount of fans, especially after his rookie season with the Syracuse Crunch. Originally a 4th round draft pick in 2015 for the Lightning, Joseph took the chances Crunch head coach Ben Groulx gave his young players this past season and ran with them. He turned in one of the best rookie performances in Syracuse in recent memory, capping it off with being named the named CCM/AHL Rookie of the Month in March.

Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh have been a dynamic duo for a long time, and judging by the looks of this mic’d up development camp session with Katchouk, it doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

Slowly, but surely, War Memproal is getting up back together for the upcoming 25th season of the Syracuse Crunch.

The Game

And then the Buffalo Sabres aquired Jeff Skinner from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Cliff Pu, a 2019 second-round pick, a 2020 third-round pick, and a 2020 sixth-round draft choice. Skinner’s six-year, $5.725 million contract expires at the end of this season. [NHL dot com]

“I don’t know what (Skinner’s contract demands) were going to be because we never had those conversations, but for Jeff, I think he was looking for a fresh start too,” Waddell said. “He’s going to a place where he’s going to play with some very good top-end players. He’s a Toronto native. He had a full no-trade clause. Buffalo was always a team that was very high on his list.”

“Waddell” refers to Don Waddell, the General Manager of the Hurricanes, in case anyone (I’m not saying me) forgot...

...Okay, I forgot who he was.

In Jason Botterill’s second summer as the General Manager of the Sabres, it looks like he has accomplished what others before him could not: build a team. They have a good forward group, despite the loss of Ryan O’Reilly, the defense will grow as Rasmus Dahlin grows, the only thing missing is the goaltending. Here is a look at the Sabres’ forward group. [Die by the Blade]

Botterill was well aware of the struggles at even strength his team has had in the past saying, “you look at our even-strength scoring over the last couple years here in Buffalo has to improve.” He went on to state that this was one of the reasons he went after Skinner, “one of his strengths is he’s a consistent goal scorer in the National Hockey League and he creates a lot of chances at even strength.”

He understands corsi!

One of Skinner’s comparables is Montreal Canadiens guy-who-wears-the-c-but-has-never-been-liked Max Pacioretty. How soon does he get traded now? [The Hockey Writers]

While there is reason to believe Pacioretty will recover from his knee injury and regain his old form, if he fails to do so by the end of his current contract, chances for a lucrative long-term deal with any team will diminish. Last year, he seemed to lose the spark that made him an offensive threat; if this was due to mental, rather than physical issues, I fear how his relationship with Bergevin will affect his game.

But anyway, I hope everyone (except the Carolina Hurricanes) has a great Friday!