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Quick Strikes: Lightning’s Brayden Point could be ready to go in Toronto on Thursday

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The Lightning send forward Gemel Smith to Syracuse.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Lightning

-The Lightning slipped Gemel Smith through on Monday yesterday. He cleared on Tuesday, and was sent to Syracuse. Tampa decreasing its store of forwards can only mean one thing: Brayden Point must be ready to don the blue and white again.

At this morning’s Tampa Bay Lightning practice, there were increasing signs that Brayden Point was closing in on returning to the lineup. He was a full participant, centering the top line between Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. He also resumed his place on the first power play unit that Tyler Johnson had been occupying. The Lightning’s next game is Thursday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs and it looks like he’s ready to make his return in Toronto.

-Are Steven Stamkos and Kevin Shattenkirk as good at changing diapers as they are at hockey? Well...

-Here’s Lightning prospect Sammy Walker doing good things:

The Crunch

-Crunch Corner is back! We are very excited that Justin is continuing his in-depth coverage of the Syracuse Crunch in weekly updates that combine his hockey analysis abilities with his spot-on humor.

It’s been one game. They got a point. Other teams have more than a point. Some teams have no points. We’ll start looking at the official standings next week.

-The Crunch issued their own weekly recap, too. It isn’t as funny, but we can’t all be Justin.

-The Crunch announced their promotional schedule yesterday, so get those calendars out.

Sadly, Syracuse Speaks listeners will be disappointed to see that there is no Harry Potter night planned.

The Game

-Although it was a loss, some good information can still be gleaned from the Buffalo Sabres’ most recent overtime loss.

-Here’s an update on the Sabres’ coaching:

-Former Sabres goalie Nathan Lieuwen has bought a BCHL franchise.

“Having a BCHL franchise showcasing an exciting brand of hockey will be a great addition to the economic well-being of the City,” says Lee Pratt, Mayor of the City of Cranbrook. “Nathan and his group, along with City staff have worked closely together these last few months to bring this great entertainment to the citizens at an affordable price. We welcome the Bucks to Cranbrook and look forward to many years of exciting hockey.”

-New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been in the league for 14 seasons. 14!

-Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov has been granted personal leave from his team to tend to a personal matter.

-Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks is back in the fold.

-I think the Philadelphia Flyers are ahead of the curve here. Maybe we all need rage rooms.

-Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk just might “be the best franchise destroyer on the continent,” writes Katie Baker of The Ringer.

Melnyk may have “saved” Ottawa from bankruptcy in 2003, but from the start, much of his wealth was tied to his pharmaceutical company, Biovail, which had been plagued by issues for years. (A 1998 Forbes article described Melnyk as “a smooth, well-tailored entrepreneur with only a medical publishing background, who has made a number of announcements about his company’s pending drugs that have yet to prove true.”) The same year Melnyk bought the Senators and their arena for $92 million, he also told investors—fraudulently, it was later ruled—that subpar Biovail profits were a result of a fatal truck accident in Illinois that had delayed shipments. Over the years Melnyk has relied on a daisy chain of loans to finance the Senators, the most recent being a $135 million line of refinanced credit announced in the summer of 2018.

-Former NHL star Daniel Carcillo wants the health of NHL players to be taken care of.

-The PG Cougars of the WHL are donning pretty amazing custom jerseys celebrating Oktoberfest:

-Mike McKenna’s newest podcast episode is up.

-NCAA fans will want to have The Hockey News’ top 100 list handy at all times.