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Quick Strikes: Welcome to the NHL offseason

It’s about bloody time, NHL, it’s almost starting to get cold again.

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Seven
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 12: The St. Louis Blues celebrate after defeating the Boston Bruins in Game Seven to win the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lighting got some of their summer homework done bright and early, releasing their preseason schedule for the 2019-20 NHL season. The Lightning will play seven games over 11 days at the end of September against the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, and Florida Panthers. The regular season begins on October 4th, a Friday. [NHL dot com]

Tuesday, September 17 vs. Carolina Hurricanes 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 18 at Carolina Hurricanes 7 p.m.
Friday, September 20 vs. Nashville Predators 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 21 at Nashville Predators 8 p.m.
Tuesday, September 24 at Florida Panthers 7 p.m.
Thursday, September 26 at Florida Panthers 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 28 vs. Florida Panthers 7 p.m.

But before the season starts, there’s a little bit of business the teams need to do: the NHL Draft. Here is loserpoints’ evaluation of Philip Tomasino, who is expected to go higher than where the Lightning are picking, but should he fall in their lap, we’ll all be very very happy. [Raw Charge]

Tomasino is a 6’0” 181 lb center who played with the Niagara IceDogs in the Ontario Hockey League last season. While picking the best player available is the best option in the draft, centers are still the most valuable position and if a team has a choice between a group of several players that all project similarly, they’ll most likely select the center. That’s part of the reason Tomasino is unlikely to be around at 27. At some point before that, he’ll probably win a tie breaker on someone’s draft board by virtue of being a center.

Also in relation to the Draft, Geo talked about the write-off that was the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. It was awful. [Raw Charge]

From 1992 through 1999, the Lightning drafted at least one player that played at least 700 games in the NHL during their career. Steven Stamkos in 2008 was the next Lightning draftee after Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards in 1999 to make it to 700 games. Alex Killorn from the 2007 draft though is likely to make it there as he sits at 517 games and will make it to 700 games over the next two and a half seasons barring a major injury.

The Stanley Cup

The St. Louis Blues are Stanley Cup Champions and St. Louis Game Time is losing their minds. [St. Louis Game Time]

This one’s for everyone who couldn’t be there, for everyone in the diaspora. Everyone who wants to be at home, and everyone who would never dream about leaving it. It’s for Bobby and Bernie and Al and Brett and every other Blue who should’ve ridden down Market Street with the Cup.
Congrats, everyone. They did it. We did it. This has been the most magical hockey season that I can ever remember, and that most of you can remember as well.

Ryan O’Reilly, who is a Blue and a Stanley Cup Champion, won the Conn Smythe Trophy honours as the playoff MVP. He had 25 points in 26 playoff games. [St. Louis Game Time]

O’Reilly finished the playoffs with nine goals and 16 assists, and scored in four straight playoff games this round. After a slow start that had fans wondering if he was hurt, O’Reilly came back in a big way to help get the Blues across the finish line.

Oh, and those 25 points in 26 games included four goals in the final four games with cracked ribs. [St. Louis Game Time]

During the Dallas and San Jose series, his play looked a little rusty at times. He didn’t score a goal against the Stars, and only had one goal and one assist against the Sharks until game six, where he added three assists to his point total. His face-off percentage could’ve been better as well, often coming in beneath 50%.

St. Louis really embraced the Blues, filling the baseball diamond and the NHL rink with watch parties.

Barclay was the original NHL team doggo, so he definitely deserves the ring he’s going to get.

The Blues were in last place on January 1st, 2019.

Oh, and this recap won’t be complete without some insight from the LOSING TEAM! [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

Though the push was strong, the Bruins could just not find a corner, a chip, a sneaky shot to save their Cup quest. With under ten minutes to go, St. Louis put another one behind Rask off the rush. No zone time, no wearing down, just worn out. If that third goal was the nail in the coffin, the fourth was the last shovel of dirt. A late goal from Matt Grzelcyk wound up the Garden one more time, and the faithful that were still in the building cheered one more time.

The Game

Not hockey news, but the Cleveland Cavaliers have a new assistant head coach and she isn’t a man!

The Ice Garden made their own women’s hockey team. They’re based in Milwaukee! For some reason. [The Ice Garden]

With the future of professional women’s hockey in North America shrouded in uncertainty, The Ice Garden recently decided to create its own league — on paper.

The concept was simple: six TIG contributors, serving as general managers, would each select a “starting six” (three forwards, two defenders, and a goalie) in a fantasy draft to be the core of their team. General managers could draft any post-collegiate players, but players who are currently in college — like Alina Müller and Maddie Rooney — were off-limits.

And finally, here is your offseason schedule, courtesy of will have content on everything Lightning and hockey, so keep these dates in your calendar and stay tuned!

Oh, FFS, not this again.