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Quick Strikes: The one where Erik Karlsson makes a lot of money

The potential top free agent stays in San Jose while another is freed from Winnipeg

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2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

While the entire city of Toronto called in sick to celebrate their NBA trophy, a couple of teams kicked off their off-seasons by making moves. The Lightning, a long shot at signing any top free agents this summer, officially lost any chance of bringing Erik Karlsson to Tampa.

The Lightning

Anton Stralman is coming back to the States to start talking to teams about contracts. It looks like he is going to test the waters with other teams, but the Lightning haven’t been ruled out as a landing spot [Twitter]

It’s the offseason, so some players are working on their off-ice skills. Watch as Louis Domingue and Yanni Goude work on their cooking skills [Twitter]

Did Lightning fans learn something about Julien BriseBois by the way he handled the Connor Ingram situation? Erik Erlendsson believes we did. [Lightning Insider - subscription]

In my view, this situation was a little bit of insight to BriseBois as a manager of players. Add this in to how the Jake Dotchin situation was handled when his contract was terminated at the start of training camp, and you see that if a player is not all-in on putting the organization first, then it’s a no-nonsense approach to how the general manager is going to handle the scenario.

The Prospects

Lukas Favale is back with another episode of CrunchTime and he breaks down some of the moves the Lightning and the Crunch made over the last week. As an FYI - the link for Alex’s next Crunch podcast will be posted a little later today. It’s well worth the listen. [Soundcloud]

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Our potential draft picks series continues rolling along as we head into draft week. Lauren profiles Brett Leason. The overage forward would break from Lightning tradition as he is a large individual at 6’4” and 201 lbs. [Raw Charge]

He uses his size to win battles along the boards and get positioning in front of the net. But he isn’t just all brute strength, he can play a finesse game as well. Leason has a wicked and heavy wrist shot and a strong backhand, but also soft hands that make him a dangerous presence in front of other goalies.

The final draft/prospects are starting to filter in from the mainstream media. Bob McKenzie released his final rankings. Jack Hughes clocks in at the top spot while Arseny Gritsyuk wraps it up at the number ninety-third spot. Some names that occupy the spots around the Lightning’s current draft spot are Matthew Robertson, Bobby Brink, Connor McMichael and Alex Vlasic [TSN]

With [Jack] Hughes, the American centre, and [Kaapo] Kakko, the Finnish winger, certain to be the first two players chosen by New Jersey and the New York Rangers, the best Canada can hope for at Friday’s draft in Vancouver is to nail down the No. 3 spot.

Remember, the BobFather and TSN do not take teams’ draft position or needs into consideration when compiling this list. This is just a straight ranking of the draft-eligible players.

ESPN’s Chris Peters also released his final prospects list. He also has Jack Hughes topping the board with Kaapo Kakko right behind him. For anything past the fifth ranked prospect you will need an ESPN+ subscription [ESPN - subscription]

Perhaps the single biggest reason Hughes is atop my list is that I have yet to watch a game in which he didn’t drive play for his line, shift in and shift out, constantly keeping defenders on their heels and making the guys on his line better.

The Orlando Solar Bears released their end-of-the-year roster. From this list of 20 players the Solar Bears can extend qualifying offers to a maximum of eight players. This helps ECHL teams keep a core of players from year to year. Two names of note that Lightning and Syracuse fans may recognize are Nolan Valleau and goaltender Corbin Boes (who had a cup of coffee with the Crunch at the end of the season). [Orlando Solar Bears]

The Game

The hot stove (or is it cold stove in hockey) action heated up on Monday. After the Penguins and Blackhawks teased us with a minor Maatta deal over the weekend, another Western Conference team dealt a defenseman to a Metro Division team.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob Trouba, who was one of the more intriguing trade targets this summer, will be looking for a place in the Big Apple as he was dealt to the New York Rangers. Heading back to Winnipeg in the deal are the 20th overall pick (originally owned by the Jets) and prospect Neal Pionk. TSN had Trouba, who is a RFA, ranked second on their Trade Bait list. [Blueshirt Banter]

The cost to acquire Trouba, a defender I talked about in-depth in a story today, is a steal. The Rangers gave up practically nothing in this trade, as they sent RFA defenseman Neal Pionk, and the first-round pick acquired from the Jets in the Kevin Hayes trade.

Another RFA is staying put as the well traveled forward Anthony Duclair re-signed in Ottawa for one year and $1.65 million. He was a bright spot at the end of a dark season for the Senators as he recorded 14 points in 21 games following his trade from Columbus. [Silver Sens]

While it was just 21 games, his post-trade production in Ottawa was the highest pace of his career to date and was done mostly at 5 on 5, with only 3 power play goals. On the flip side he was also shooting at 20% in Ottawa without an expected goals rate much higher than his career average, so his level of production may see a decline back towards his previous levels next season.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks
Karlsson calculates how much he’s going to pay in taxes with his new contract. Wait, what no one mentions taxes when someone signs with a non-Florida team?
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of Ottawa Senators who are staying put with their respective teams, let’s turn to the big news of the day. Former Senator Erik Karlsson dashed the hopes of fans across the NHL (and the page hits for media sites as well) as he decided to stay in San Jose before the offseason bidding wars got under way. With what he signed for, and the fact that he gets to spend his winters in San Jose, there probably wasn’t much of a chance for other teams to outbid the Sharks. Here are the details:

That’s a lot of money, and a huge portion of it ($53 million) is guaranteed through signing bonuses.

While Karlsson is staying in San Jose, their is one hockey person that is leaving. Anaheim officially signed David Tennant doppelganger Dallas Eakins as their new head coach. Eakins spent last season coaching the Ducks AHL affiliate the San Diego Gulls. [Anaheim Calling]

For Eakins, the challenge in year one is clear-cut: re-invigorate a roster that seemed totally listless at times last season, shepherd along the young core, and make a push for the playoffs. As much as Murray wants to drill home that a re-tool is afoot, the Ducks are not a franchise that can withstand missing the playoffs regularly.

Panthers V Sabres
Eakins as a player informing Matthew Barnaby that he’s about to be traded to the 2000-01 Tampa Bay Lightning.

And last, a poll that we need for...uh, science. And not because one of us has a friend coming to the area and we want restaurant recs. No, definitely not that.


You have friends coming to visit the Tampa area. They want to have an excellent dinner. Price isn’t an object. Which one do you recommend?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    (18 votes)
  • 3%
    Mise en Place
    (2 votes)
  • 16%
    (9 votes)
  • 3%
    Edison: Food+Drink Lab
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Cafe Ponte
    (2 votes)
  • 32%
    The Columbia
    (18 votes)
  • 8%
    Other (list in comments)
    (5 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now