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Quick Strikes: Former Bolt Brett Connolly refuses invite to White House

He and Devante Smith-Pelley will not shake hands with Donald Trump

Tampa Bay Lightning v Washington Capitals - Game Three
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Brett Connolly #10 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with his teammate Chandler Stephenson #18 after scoring a goal on Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on May 15, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

Sometimes you have to loose in the finals before you can win it all and take home the trophy. Here’s hoping that Nikita Kucherov can bring home some hardware for the Tampa Bay Lightning next season. [Raw Charge]

This is the year for Kucherov to finally collect some hardware for his trophy case. He’s due. Beyond due, in fact. In total, he’s had one of the best five-year starts to an NHL career in history. And over the last four seasons, he’s been one of the best players in the league. Possibly even THE best. That’s quite a claim to make, but supporting it is surprisingly easy.

Former Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Brett Connolly is a Stanley Cup champion. However, he has refused the offer to go see the guy in the White House stating “It’s about what’s right and wrong.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Less than a week after the Capitals won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, players were polled about a White House visit and most said they would attend. Connolly declined to comment at the time. Smith-Pelly, who is black and Canadian, was asked about the subject while the Capitals were still playing in the Stanley Cup Final, and he said then he would not want to visit the White House because “the things that ?Trump? spews are straight-up racist and sexist.”

The WHL took a look at what some of their best alumni’s were doing in the NHL at the moment. Safe to say Brayden Point’s resume was impressive enough to make the list. [The WHL]

Less than a week after the Capitals won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, players were polled about a White House visit and most said they would attend. Connolly declined to comment at the time. Smith-Pelly, who is black and Canadian, was asked about the subject while the Capitals were still playing in the Stanley Cup Final, and he said then he would not want to visit the White House because “the things that ?Trump? spews are straight-up racist and sexist.”

AMALIE Arena is almost ready for hockey again! This is so exciting.

The Prospects

War Memorial Arena is also putting itself back together, only with fresh new equipment.

Tracey takes a look at the Orlando Solar Bears regular season schedule and how it shapes up compared to the AHL and to previous seasons. [Raw Charge]

As for the 13 games outside the South Division, they play 10 games against North Division foes. The expansion Newfoundland Growlers lead the way with 5 matchups, including a three game trip to St. John’s in March. Orlando will face Manchester and Worcester twice, and make one trip to Maine in November to face the ECHL’s other expansion team, the Mariners.

The Game

When this tweet fell from the sky, it created a storm the likes of which the hockey world had not seen, unless they played Fortnite.

The notion that this game should be taken away from players is, quite frankly, absurd. Multiple voices in hockey fought back these ideas that surely came from a 50-something-year-old hockey guy from Ontario who grew up going out and getting wasted the night after games.

NHL players don’t seem to mind, especially some of the very best in the league. [Sportsnet]

“I’ve been playing a lot lately,” Auston Matthews said mid-season. “Off days, I don’t really leave my apartment too much, just because you want to relax, so I’ve been trying to get better every day in Fortnite, and it’s been going pretty well.”

Asked how he’d spend the hours between the morning skate and puck drop before April’s Game 7 in Boston, Mitch Marner said, “Go home, eat, sit on my phone, probably look at Twitter, look at video games, watch people playin’ Fortnite, to be honest.

“Just get my mind off hockey, not think about it at all.”

But, hey, what does Auston Matthews know about dedication to the game.

Martin Brodeau has returned to the New Jersey Devils as their new executive vice-president of business development, whatever that means. [Sportsnet]

“It feels fantastic to be back home here in New Jersey,” Brodeur said. “This unique opportunity will allow me to build on existing relationships in the business community and take on a new challenge in my career. I’ve been able to work in all facets of the game of hockey and have had a growing interest in the business surrounding the game.”