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Quick Strikes: What the heck is going on in Montreal?

And the Syracuse Crunch’s promotional game schedule is out.

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning
Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens avoids the check of Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at Amalie Arena on December 28, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The Bolts

Raw Charge continues it’s series on what we want to see out of 2018-19 for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Number eight’s focus is on some of the young players, namely Anthony Cirelli, and whether it’s their time to make the NHL or not. [Raw Charge]

Cirelli’s first full year at the professional level was solid. In 51 games with the Syracuse Crunch, he put up 14 goals and 37 points. Not world beating, but a solid start for a 21-year old. Cirelli was called up on March 1st and never looked back as he secured the third -ine center position. In 18 regular season games with the Lightning, Cirelli put up 5 goals and 11 points, and in 17 playoff games, he added 2 goals and 3 points.

There are some pretty good contracts on the Lightning this season. The Hockey Writers have found their top-4 and can’t stop gushing about it. [The Hockey Writers]

It’s easy to forget that Andrei Vasileveskiy is still on the bridge deal he signed back in 2016 after the stellar play in his first year as a full-time starter in the 2017-18 season. Entering the 2018-19 season, Vasileveskiy will be making $3.5 million in the final year of that contract — a relative steal for a goaltender of his caliber and potential.

The Prospects

The Orlando Solar Bears had their schedule set for the upcoming season, but then out of nowhere, changes needed to be made and all of ECHL Reporting Queen Tracey’s work on Wednesday went to waste. Never the less, here is the actual Solar Bears schedule. Hopefully. [Raw Charge]

Remember on Wednesday when I broke down the full Orlando Solar Bears 2018-2019 ECHL schedule?

Well...there’s been a few changes to the schedule of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s ECHL affiliate, announced by the team shortly after the original article was posted.

A total of 21 games—13 home and 8 away—were affected by the schedule revision.

Forward Chris LeBlanc will be returning to the Solar Bears for next season, the team announced that they have agreed to terms with the 24-year-old former sixth-round pick. [Solar Bears]

LeBlanc returns for his second season with the Solar Bears after he skated in 60 games for Orlando in 2017-18, recording 21 points (10g-11a) and 24 penalty minutes. LeBlanc then led the Solar Bears in postseason goals, scoring four times in nine playoff games.

The Syracuse Crunch’s list of promotional games looks like a lot of fun for this upcoming year. Here are nine can’t-miss dates. [Syracuse]

Saturday, Feb. 16 vs. Rochester Americans: You Can Play Night & Crunchman bobblehead giveaway. The Crunch celebrates diversity and inclusion in all levels of sports and a portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Q Center, which provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth and allies. The Crunch will also give away Crunchman bobbleheads, the first of a three-bobblehead series.

The Game

So, uh, there is some drama with a capital “D” going on in Montreal right now. First, we hear out of the french media that Max Pacioretty demanded a trade, then his agent came out on Twitter and said some pretty strong stuff, then a Stanley Cup winning former teammate came out of nowhere and showed his support for the Canadiens’ captain and now I’m going to lead it all into this Steve Dangle video about it all. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

And finally, the Calgary Flames have locked up their recently acquired young defenseman Noah Hanafin to a six-year, $4.95 million contract. Good pay-day for a player with a lot of promise, who has yet to really show us a dependable all-around game. [Sportsnet]

Through three seasons at the NHL level, Hanifin has amassed 18 goals and 83 points, posting career-best marks of 10 goals and 32 points for the Hurricanes in 2017-18. Initially drafted fifth overall by Carolina in 2015, Hanifin was a standout talent at the college level, posting 23 points through 37 tilts for Boston College in 2014-15.