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Quick Strikes: Seattle’s expansion team gets a General Manager and in other news, surfin’ Sergachev

To no one’s surprise, Ron Francis gets the GM job in Seattle.

Ron Francis plays the puck Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images/NHLI

The Bolts

Geo took a look at the Lightning and Canadiens swapping Jonathan Drouin for Mikhail Sergachev two years later. This is a fun article for Lightning fans to read. Not so fun for Canadiens fans to read.

Some Habs fans will certainly point to Drouin’s point production and say, “See! He’s valuable!” And that’s true, he does provide some value there. He’s a good playmaker. And he probably should be a better shooter than the 8.8% shooting he’s put up the past two seasons with Montreal. But so much of his point production comes on the power play. That production just doesn’t make up for his shortcomings at even strength as he neither drives play offensively or defends well enough for his scoring to overcome.

In other Mikhail Sergachev news, he seems to be enjoying living close to the beach.

Sammy Walker is becoming a fan favorite among the Lightning’s prospects. A late round pick who flashed some offensive skill in his freshman year in the NCAA, Walker looks like he has a chance to outperform his draft slot. Here’s a chance to get a look at how he spent his days during Development Camp last month.

The Prospects

Alexander Kuqali isn’t really a prospect but he does play for the Lightning’s ECHL affiliate in Orlando and he sat down for an interview with the team.

I really enjoyed my time from January on, because the organization and all of its staff take great care of us, not just on the ice but away from the rink as well. I felt really cared about on all fronts, and everyone here wants the best for us as players and people. Everyone here is trying to help you be better. I have a really good relationship with Drake, so it made it easy when I decided I wanted to continue playing, and there was no question I wanted to come back to Orlando.

The Game

As expected, the Seattle expansion team officially named Ron Francis as the team’s first General manager yesterday. The news leaked out several days so the press conference was more about building up the hype than breaking any news.

After a Hall of Fame playing career, Francis worked his way up in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. He took on roles in player development, scouting, coaching and operations over 12 years. He was named General Manager in 2014.

Long-time Carolina GM Jim Rutherford spotted Francis’ potential during the new Seattle GM’s playing days: “His credibility and leadership qualities were apparent to players, coaches and management,” said Rutherford this week.

Greg Wyshynski wrote his thoughts on the hiring at ESPN.

Look, no matter how much Listerine one gargles, it’s hard to get rid of the rancidness of four losing seasons or seeing Scott Darling as his solution in goal -- a devastating story on a personal level, but an undeniable managerial misstep in handing the crease to an unproven commodity on a four-year deal with trade protection. He bet big, and lost, and that signing came to define Francis’ tenure in Raleigh.