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Quick Strikes: AHL announces home openers for 2019-20 season

The full schedule is being released today!

AHL: APR 25 Calder Cup Playoffs - Syracuse Crunch at Cleveland Monsters
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 25: Syracuse Crunch center Carter Verhaeghe (21) looks to shoot during the third period of the 2019 American Hockey League Calder Cup North Division Semifinals game 4 between the Syracuse Crunch and Cleveland Monsters on April 25, 2019, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland defeated Syracuse 3-0 to win the series 3 games to 1.
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bolts

Another day has passed and still no sign of a contract for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s current RFAs Brayden Point and Adam Erne. The two sides have been making progress in each deal and Point appears to be unwilling to sign an offer sheet elsewhere so the deals should come... eventually.

Where does Steven Stamkos fit in Tampa Bay sports lore as the face of the city? These are the questions being asked on July 9th. [Tampa Bay Times]

With last year’s trade of Longoria, Gerald McCoy’s recent departure from the Bucs and the possibility the entire Rays franchise could be on its way to Montreal, at least part-time, it got us wondering who might qualify as the face of Tampa Bay.

Congrats to ThunderBug on his very aggressive Bottle Cap Challenge video. Well done!

The Prospects

Justin provided a nice update on what the Syracuse Crunch roster looks like so far in the summer. What’s been added, what’s been taken away, why there are so many damn goalies. [Raw Charge]

Backing him up with be 24-year-old Spencer Martin. The former third round pick of the Colorado Avalanche was the backup for their AHL affiliate last season and should serve the same role with the Crunch. Expect Coach Groulx to give plenty of playing time to both as he will try to foster a 1a-and-1b relationship between the two netminders.

Alex is back for another episode of the Syracuse Speaks podcast! This week’s episode focuses on the most recent additions, including Gemel Smith, and what it all means for the team. [Raw Charge]

In this episode, host Alex Ackerman discusses the additions of forward Gemel Smith and goalie Zachary Fucale to the Syracuse Crunch/Tampa Bay Lightning organization. She also ponders the re-signings of Cedric Paquette, Carter Verhaeghe, and Danick Martel, and which ones could potentially end up with the Crunch. Lastly, she jumps back into her recap of the 2018-19 AHL season for Syracuse and covers the highs and lows of February, including some scary foreshadowing of the future.

Later today at 3pm, the full AHL schedule will be released. We have some idea of what the Crunch’s beginning of the season looks like as a result of the fact that they are invited to three teams’ home openers, but we’ll get the full list later in the day.

Finally, get to know Gabriel Fortier by reading his tweets back during development camp when he took over the team’s social media account.

The Game

Okay, Kids, who wants to read the NHL CBA! No one? Well, at least Cap Friendly is willing to do it.

Don Cherry is that bigoted old man who yells at clouds on national tv every night up north. He should’ve been fired long ago. Fulemin from PPP explains. [Pension Plan Puppets]

Cherry had a journeyman playing career and a more distinguished coaching career, in which he led the Boston Bruins to two Stanley Cup Finals (they lost both times to dynasty Montreal teams). Subsequent to that, Cherry took up his role as the star of HNIC’s first intermission show, Coach’s Corner, accompanied by former referee Ron MacLean. Don and Ron are coming up on thirty-four years in the job together. I don’t think Don should do it anymore.

Lastly, BSB takes a look around their division to see what’s happened around the Metro during free agency. Obviously the Rangers got Panarin, but what did everyone else do? [Blueshirt Banter]

With the dust beginning to settle following the 2019 NHL Draft and the Free Agent Frenzy, rosters are starting to take shape for the upcoming season. Obviously the New York Rangers stole the headlines — and from the New York Islanders — on July 1 when they signed Artemi Panarin to a seven-year, $81.5 million deal.