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Quick Strikes: The Yzerman era ends in Tampa Bay

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In the words of Mr. Vinik, May he build the second-best team.

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Headline

Steve Yzerman has been named the Detroit Red Wings general manager. He stepped down from his role as the Tampa Bay Lightning general manager last September, wishing to spend more time with his family in Michigan.

Detroit’s former GM Ken Holland has been “promoted” to Senior Vice President as was announced during press conference on Friday.

Lightning chairman and governor Jeff Vinik expressed his thoughts on Steve Yzerman’s new position.

But how does it affect the Lightning? The Athletic’s Joe Smith on Yzerman’s leaving and who he might take with him [The Athletic, paid content]

Don’t be surprised if Verbeek, the Lightning’s chief pro scout, joins Yzerman in Detroit. Verbeek’s contract is up June 30, and he is aligned with Yzerman, who was responsible for him coming to Tampa Bay in the first place. It’s unknown whether Detroit has asked for permission to speak with Verbeek.
Then there’s Murray, who has been the secret MVP of the franchise. Murray has been the architect of Tampa Bay’s drafts since 2011, netting steals like Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov, who he nabbed in the second round. Losing him would leave a huge void.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch were defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets’s affiliate in the first game of the postseason. Th next game is tonight at 7 P.M. EST. [Raw Charge]

The Monsters wrestled home ice away from the North Division champs by thwarting the Crunch offense with a steady diet of blocked passes and interrupted shots. While the Syracuse power play was in early-season form, converting both opportunities they had, Syracuse couldn’t generate enough clean shots at even strength to counter Cleveland’s offense. Add in a couple of careless penalties in the third period, and the Crunch ended up on the losing side.

Syracuse.com’s Lindsay Kramer discusses how Andy Andreoff is important for his team and what challenges he will face during the Playoffs. [Syracuse.com]

This was Andreoff’s first full AHL season since 2013-14 with Manchester, but he never reacted to a slammed door in Tampa Bay as though playing for the Crunch was a dead end. That’s a large reason why Syracuse earned the North Division banner and opens a first-round AHL playoff series at home against Cleveland this weekend.

Before the start of the first round, Carter Verhaeghe, Karl Goehring and Cleveland Monsters broadcaster Tony Brown were invited to a special Calder Cup Playoffs preview edition of Crunch Weekly

The Orlando Solar Bears earned a win over the South Carolina Stingrays and are now just one victory away from advancing to the South Division Finals.

The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mitch Hults speaks about his excellent play in the first games of postseason.

Seldo continues reporting about the Lightning prospects from junior leagues [Raw Charge]

Only two Tampa Bay Lightning prospects remain in the playoffs and they both play on the same team. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Rimouski Oceanic have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals - the first ECF in a decade, as the QMJHL seeded their playoffs 1-16 from 2009 to this year.

The Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning expressed their interest in Russian defenceman Artyom Sergeyev, who has previously played for the Syracuse Crunch [Raw Charge]

Meanwhile, the Lightning blueline will see some changes during the offseason. Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman and Braydon Coburn are unrestricted free agents this summer and the Lightning management are probably looking for some depth players to add to their roster. Sergeyev has experience playing in the AHL and won’t have any issues with adapting as many players coming from the KHL do.

The Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs took a 3-2 series lead after a victory over the Boston Bruins thanks to goals from Auston Matthews and Kasperi Kapanen.

The Calgary Flames have been eliminated after a crushing loss against the Colorado Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon has added another multipoint playoff game, Mikko Rantanen scored two goals.

For the first time in the NHL history both conference champions have been eliminated in the first round.

The NHL revealed finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Meanwhile, in the KHL, CSKA Moscow have won their first Gagarin Cup Trophy. It was also the first time when the winner was decided in only four games.

New York Islanders prospect Ilya Sorokin has been named MVP of the 2019 Gagarin Cup Playoffs.

Jaromir Jagr scored 4 goals against HC Motor and helped his team to return to the Czech Extraliga for the first time since 2013-14 season.

Team Sweden announced its first batch of players for the upcoming World Championship. Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman will not participate due to injuries.