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Quick Strikes: Trades, suspensions and awards

We explore the possibility of acquiring a Sabre while the Leafs and Wild work out the most minimal of all trades.

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2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Two Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Lightning:

If the Lightning don’t acquire the services of Erik Karlsson this summer, could they turn their eyes north and pry Rasmus Ristolainen away from the Buffalo Sabres? Well they could, but that doesn’t mean they should. [Raw Charge]

Here’s the issue with Ristolainen; he’s terrible at being a defensemen .... He’s a drag to his team in every category except on the power-play—an area the Lightning have already two great defensemen quarterbacking in Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev.

Well that’s not encouraging at all.

Every summer, the talk of offer sheets comes up and pundits claim “This is the year it’s going to happen!” Then, every fall, the season begins without any offer sheets being...well...offered. This off-season is no different and the Lightning are right in the middle of it. [TSN]

Like the Maple Leafs and Golden Knights, the Tampa Bay Lightning are also up against the cap and [Hockey News writer Jared] Clinton expects Point to command at least the team’s remaining $8.5 million on a projected $83 million cap this summer. Point, 23, scored 41 goals and posted 92 points this season and Clinton believes Point could fit on “nearly any team’s top line.” He suggests a rival team could “put the screws” to Tampa Bay by offering Point $9 million per year, in an offer that would be matched but cause the Lightning to spend more than they planned.

Tampa Bay’s PR Department won an award for their work this season []

Joe Smith had a Q&A session on The Athletic where he answered questions that ranged from Erik Karlsson, Brayden Point, the draft, and the fourth line. [The Athletic - subscription required]

Question: What are the chances the Lightning change their thinking and build a 4th line that is punishing?

Joe Smith: The Lightning fourth line did deliver their share of hits, and were a pain in the (you know what) to play against. With Joseph, Erne, Paquette, you saw them bring an edge and nastiness. Does that mean they won’t add any more size? No, but I think there was quite a bit of physicality from that line last season

Also, he notes that the third jerseys that debuted last year will be returning next season. Do with that information what you will.

The Prospects:

From what Google Translate tells me, it looks like Gabriel Fortier picked up a scholarship to continue his studies. [Twitter]

Speaking the Crunch and school kids, registration is open for their annual Summer Street Crunch series. Children between the ages of 5-14 can sign up to play in front of the War Memorial Arena on Saturdays between July 20th and August 4th [Syracuse Crunch]

The second episode of Syracuse Speaks has been released. Alex chats about potential Lightning moves this summer and how they could affect the Crunch [Raw Charge]

This week, Alex starts off by recapping last week’s episode and addressing the departure of Jonne Tammela from the organization. She says a heartfelt goodbye to Crunch goaltending and video coach Karl Goehring, as reports say he is headed back to the University of North Dakota. Alex also addresses the Tampa Bay Lightning’s pending summer off season, and ponders how their moves could affect Syracuse.

The Game:

It’s amazing that the NHL would let this blockbuster trade go through during the middle of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Leafs traded the rights to Fedor Gordeev to the Wild in exchange for a conditional 2020 7th round pick. The condition was activated later in the day when the Wild signed the defender to a contract. [Pension Plan Puppets]

The Leafs are stacked on defence in the AHL, and would struggle to give Gordeev any ice time. This way, he gets a chance with another organization and won’t have to go back into the draft. The only other option for him would have been an AHL contract, and he would have ended up on the [ECHL] Growlers.

Former Lightning goaltender Mike McKenna (more on him on Saturday) breaks down the action from Game Two. []

Binnington will never be accused of being a blocker. Though some goalies will instinctively lock up and go for coverage over control, Binnington usually elects to keep his hands alive while using his natural flexibility to drive into shots. It’s one of the reasons why he’s been so successful in his limited NHL run; his strengths cater to the speed and dynamism of today’s game.

There was another big hit in Game Two. Unlike the Torey Krug hit from the series opening game, this one resulted in a suspension. Oskar Sundqvist will sit out Game Three following his hit on Matt Grzelcyk. [Department of Player Safety (video)]

“As he does, Sundqvist adjusts his course, then hits him forcefully from behind with speed driving him violently into the glass and causing an injury. This is boarding...This is not a situation in which a sudden and unexpected movement by the player receiving the check turns a legal hit into an illegal one at the last moment.”

The Hit:

There is a reason the NHL should find a way to go to the Olympics. The Americans would have a pretty good chance to win a gold medal. For they are entering a “golden age” of talent according to ESPN. There are a lot of names listed, but not one of them is Tyler Johnson. There is something wrong with that. [ESPN NHL]

There is an undeniable truth in the progress of the American player, becoming more skilled, more creative and more entertaining than the years and years of north-south speedy, grindy players. The elites were fewer and farther in between.