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Quick Strikes: NHL hires first full-time European official

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Libor Suchanek will be the NHL’s first full-time Czech-born linesman

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Linesman Libor Suchanek #60 works his first NHL game between the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes at the Barclays Center on November 16, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

There have been no further developments from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Jake Dotchin case that broke on Friday. However, Joe Smith wrote a very insightful piece on the matter at The Athletic. [The Athletic]

Adam Erne had a tale of two seasons. On one hand, he had a great offensive year after slimming down in weight. On the other, he suffered a tough lower-body injury that kept him from many games in Syracuse. He’s looking to move forward, hopefully with the Tampa Bay Lightning. [NHL dot com]

“His testing came in well. That’s the first thing. You want to see that,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “It looks like he was responsible over the summer looking after himself. But he’s shown some pretty good burst here in camp. There are spots open on this team, and he’s looking to make sure he grabs one and take a step ahead of what he did last year.

Training Camp

Dan Girardi kicks off the training camp section with his breakdown of how the practices are going from the player perspective. [NHL dot com]

“I think it’s been a pretty tough first two days of training camp. The guys are working really hard. We’re doing a lot of team-oriented stuff right now: defensive zone, breakouts, all things that need to be hammered in right now. Camp last year was a difficult one, and we’ve carried that same approach into this season’s camp. It’s been a tough two days. Definitely fun at the end of the day when you’re finished and you can take your skates off and start the recovery process.

Says the old guy, lol.

Bryan Burns and Erik Erlendsson shared some current line combinations for the upcoming season. For the most part, these will probably be far from any of the real line combinations. However, it’s interesting to see if some of the duos in camp (Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, as well as Otto Somppi and Taylor Raddysh) might become partners in the regular season (for the Lightning and the Syracuse Crunch).

I hope I wasn’t too mean when I told Joe to use landscape video. considering all the videos since have been in the wide format, I can only assume he reads. *waves* I hear only great things about him and I was only using caps lock for dramatic effect. :)

The Game

How’s training camp going for teams around the league, Phil?

The Winnipeg Jets locked up their final Restricted Free Agent in Josh Morrissey to a two-year contract. The Jets have been forced to bridge a lot of their young players due to...well...having a lot of good young players. Those lucky bastards. [Arctic Ice Hockey]

This is a smart move for Morrissey and the Jets. After this season they will be able to better project how their cap space will shake out over the next few seasons. Nikolaj Ehlers’ new contract starts this year and Blake Wheeler’s the year after. Patrik Laine will also have a new contract following this season.

The signing was first reported by CJ.

OKAY, NOW YOU’RE JUST RUBBING IT IN! [Fear The Fin]

Remember when the the NHL players were pretty much all from North America? Well it was a long time ago. Meanwhile, the NHL’s referees are only just catching up to the times. They have hired their first full-time non-North American official. It’s about damn time. [NHL dot com]

As the NHL has expanded its search for officials under the purview of NHL director of officiating Stephen Walkom, it has looked for talent in different places. It has looked to ex-players who might never have considered the career path. It has looked to those coming up through the lower levels. It has looked to Europe.

The NHL is going into a lockout in 2020-21. Okay, not officially, but we all know it’s going to happen. Read about the impending doom here. [TSN]

The NHL will have the first opportunity to notify the NHL Players’ Association on Sept. 1, 2019 of its intention to terminate the current agreement ahead of the 2020-21 season. Should the NHL decline, the players can exercise their option for early termination on Sept. 15, 2019, notifying the league that the NHLPA potentially intends to walk out for the first time since 1992.

“I think there will be another one. We’ll see,” Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. “I’m not nervous, I don’t think about it every day – but I’m getting older. I want to enjoy this as much as I can. I would love to be able to [avoid one], to put our differences on the table and make it work.”

In AHL news, the 2020 All-Star Game (which is much more fun than the NHL’s version) will be hosted by the Ontario Reign, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings.