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Quick Strikes: No, the Lightning still shouldn’t trade for Sabres defender Rasmus Ristolainen

Not even next to a cute kid!

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Ottawa Senators v Buffalo Sabres

The Bolts and System

We are apparently into the news recycling time of the summer. Yesterday, Joe Smith of The Athletic followed up on a previous article about Rasmus Ristolainen, taking a closer look at why Ristolainen might be a good fit for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Joe’s original article inspired our writer Matt to dive deep into why the answer is “nope.”

Here’s Joe’s latest:

Roundtable: Is Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen worth a look for the Lightning? [The Athletic, Paid Content]

While the Lightning very well may be done shopping, some wonder whether they may circle back on Buffalo, where there’s suddenly a glut of right-shot defensemen and Rasmus Ristolainen is likely on the trade block. Ristolainen, 24, is a 6-foot-4, top-four-caliber defenseman who has had an up-and-down run with a struggling Sabres franchise and could use a fresh start.

And here’s our answer from the last time around:

Should the Tampa Bay Lightning be interested in a trade for Rasmus Ristolainen? [Raw Charge]

If we take a look at the shot rate charts from It doesn’t paint a pretty picture. On offense, Ristolainen doesn’t move the needle for his team at all for a top pairing defender and defensively, Buffalo actually performed slightly better when he was off the ice. Plugging a player like this next to Victor Hedman seems counter intuitive. Yes, Hedman has dragged lesser players to success during his career (Jake Dotchin and Dan Girardi). However, at the price point that Ristolainen would come with ($5.4M for the next three seasons), it would make little sense to ask him to do that again.

But moving on, here’s a quick roundup of the rest of what’s important in Tampa Bay today.

NWHL, Tampa Bay Lightning will partner to host girls’ hockey clinic in August [The Ice Garden]

Tampa’s new involvement in the league’s girls’ program comes after two NHL teams have revoked previous ties to the NWHL. In May, the New Jersey Devils dissolved their affiliation with the Metropolitan Riveters and Buffalo Sabres owner Pegula Sports and Entertainment returned Buffalo Beauts ownership to the league. The Boston Bruins have maintained their affiliation, and it is unknown whether the Minnesota Wild have continued their partnership.

Yesterday, Joe hunted down Mr. Jeff Vinik and asked him a few good questions: Q&A: Lightning owner Jeff Vinik on the playoff collapse and why he’s betting on Cooper, BriseBois to bring them a Cup [The Athletic, Paid Content]

”It’s bitter disappointment. Honestly, in my heart, even down three games to none, I thought we were going to come back and win the series. Right until the end. I have incredible faith in our guys, and, obviously, it wasn’t to be.”

Same, Mr. Vinik!

2019 Tampa Bay Lightning draft profiles: Is Mikhail Shalagin another late round steal? [Raw Charge]

At 19 years old, Shalagin is considered as the overager in the MHL. His size is also a pretty big advantage over most players in the league. We should also mention the transition of MHL players into professional hockey. The following list is the list of the MHL all-time top scorers. How many players do you recognize here? Yes, most of them are still very young. But the only decent players here are Nikita Gusev and Alexander Barabanov.

Syracuse Crunch 2019-20 schedule breakdown [Raw Charge]

The Syracuse Crunch will open the 2019-2020 season on the road in Rochester on Friday, October 4th, against the Americans. This marks the beginning of a four game road trip, as the team then heads to Cleveland for a pair of games against the Monsters on Friday, October 11th (Cleveland’s home opener), and Saturday, October 12th. The team will then visit Utica for the Comets’ home opener on Wednesday, October 16th.

Thank you for your community service, Crunch staff!

And congrats to the Lightning marketing team!

The Game


But if Sweeney doesn’t want to take that tack, if he doesn’t want to expose multiple players to waivers, the Bruins do have other options, such as going the buyout route with David Backes, whose $6-million cap hit has become an anchor in Boston. Cutting bait with Backes makes sense, too, right? He lost his spot at times throughout the campaign, was made a healthy scratch and he’s not the fit the Bruins had hoped he would be.

I guess the Garret Sparks experiment is over in Toronto: Maple Leafs quietly grooming Frederik Andersen’s successor [Sportsnet]

Joseph Woll has never played a pro hockey game and wasn’t going to see a second of NHL action.

And yet, the touted Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending prospect travelled, practised and trained with the big club for the final five weeks of the season, including the seven-game playoff series with Boston, riding the highs and lows up in the TD Garden pressbox with the Justin Holls and Nic Petans of the world.

This is a fun read: By the numbers: A look at the 10 worst contracts in hockey [The Athletic, Paid Content]

I’ll be judging contracts is two-fold: Surplus value over the entirety of a contract and probability of yielding positive expected value. Both come from comparing GSVA and the expected salary that comes with it to the current contract a player possesses.

And if anyone caught some interesting messages from the AHL app a few days ago, the full story is here: How an AHL push notification made a private work dispute public [The Athletic, Paid Content] Or over here: Forgot to Sign Up for Minor League Hockey Alerts? You Missed Some Drama [New York Times]

Users who opened the application that morning were also greeted by a screenshot of a conversation where someone identified as Zimmel said: “We talked yesterday and you said you were clear and would follow direction given less than 18 hours later you are doing what interests you again smarten up – or I will come out there and ‘punch you in the throat.’”

I’ll be at MetroCon today! Look for the hockey fan in the Anime outfit! :D