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Quick Strikes: Lightning and Crunch support their communities, Kendall Coyne Schofield shows class

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The two organizations have continued to show why they are integral parts of their communities.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

-Kendall Coyne Schofield has shown nothing but class in reaction to the events of Wednesday night, where the athlete made her analysis debut on NBC Sports. It’s been incredibly refreshing.

-Her words were applauded by many, and this sentence in particular seemed very popular (and rightfully so):

-She also talked at length with Katie Strang of The Athletic.

“However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that that language needs to be changed in the future, the way women are perceived in the industry. And I think for all the young girls out there, it shows you need to have confidence in yourself, no matter what the moment is, and I think the takeaway I have from it — whether it’s a moment that someone wants to define for you, you need to define it for yourself. You’ve worked hard for that moment and that’s how I felt.”

-The Tampa Bay Lightning’s community hockey program held their first blind street hockey clinic yesterday!

-Hockey Day in Tampa 2019 is coming up already. Can you believe it?!

-News broke on Thursday that the Lightning might be interested in either Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers or Mike Ferland of the Carolina Hurricanes:

Alan, with an assist from Geo, took a look at these players and what it might take to acquire them.

Both are players who have been getting attention on the trade market. But they have different things to contribute to an acquiring team. Simmonds has undoubtedly had the better career of the two. Ferland will likely never have seasons as good as Simmonds did at his peak. But at this point, Ferland is the better player. Simmonds was basically replacement level last year posting a -0.1 WAR according to Evolving Hockey and is on a slightly worse pace this year. Ferland put up 1.1 WAR last season and is on a similar pace this year. That makes him a solid middle six forward.

-Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Matt Murray doesn’t seem to be a fan of Lightning forward Mathieu Joseph. Well, okay, maybe that’s a tad click-batey. Sorry.

-Joe Smith of The Athletic covered the Lightning’s blue liners in a pay walled article, including a discussion with Erik Cernak. The rookie was recently told to look for an apartment in the Tampa area, words that every prospect and potential NHL’er in Syracuse longs to someday hear.

-Former Lightning player Antoine Vermette announced his retirement from hockey yesterday.

-With the Lightning away all weekend, be sure to check out the watch party info!

-The Syracuse Crunch are collecting healthy, non-perishable food items at their games this weekend for their local Blessings in a Backpack program. The program provides elementary students with free food items that help their families bridge the meal gap created by non-school days, such as weekends and holidays, when their kids aren’t eating breakfast and lunch at school.

Many families struggle on non-school days to put three healthy meals on the table. This program is an essential part of their efforts to do so. I’ve seen Blessings in a Backpack, and similar programs, in action. They work.

Suggested food items include no-sugar added fruits, low-sodium vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or no-fat shelf-stable dairy and lean protein.

-The Crunch have officially reached the second half of the season with the AHL All-Star event behind them. Justin took a deep dive into the state of the team yesterday.

So, what does the future hold for the Crunch? Is this team a contender for the Calder Cup? Based on their play over the first 41 games, the answer has to be yes.

(I might have just gotten a little emotional over that statement when I was editing it, I’m not going to lie)

-Unfortunately for Syracuse, they go into the weekend missing their captain. Forward Gabriel Dumont was suspended by the league for one game as a consequence of an illegal check to the head of an opponent. The play in question came during the Crunch’s game vs. Rochester on Jan. 26. He’ll miss tonight’s home game against Utica.

-Speaking of the game tonight, Syracuse has a unique giveaway planned to help keep their fans warm (it’s been a bit chilly around here).

-The Crunch and their ECHL team, the Orlando Solar Bears, swapped defenseman (again) yesterday, with Matthew Spencer going down and Oleg Sosunov coming up.

-It looks like the Crunch is getting their junior reporter program going! Here is a young journalist with forward Cory Conacher.

-Crunch season ticket holders should have received information in their email yesterday about renewals and other items. It’s a must-read, so if you are a full or partial STH with the team, please don’t ignore it!

-Similarly, the Solar Bears are also rolling out some changes for their loyalty programs:

-Good news: Lightning prospect Sammy Walker seems to have shaken his concussion symptoms.

-Bolt prospect Ryan Lohin is a candidate for the Hobey Baker Award!

-As the trade deadline approaches, it can be interesting to take a look back at previous deadline deals. Mike Murphy over at Blue Shirt Banter summarized a few of the New York Rangers’ most costly deadline deals.

As we all know, the New York Rangers are not going to be buyers at the trade deadline this year. For the second-straight season Jeff Gorton will be moving players with expiring contracts and adding picks and prospects to the organization as it rebuilds. However, it wasn’t that long ago when Gorton and the Rangers were buyers.

-Speaking of deals, Seldo over at Pension Plan Puppets took a look at a day that has been oddly historically busy for the Toronto Maple Leafs: January 31st.

January 31st was a busy trading day in Toronto Maple Leafs history. The majority of the trades have come in the last 20 years, but one reaches all the way back to the time when a team called the Ottawa Senators was good. With six trades on this date, we have some history to go through.

-Monday is the Flyer’s You Can Play game!