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Quick Strikes: Temporarily talking (about) Toronto

I mean, it’s July 24th. You try finding news.

Edmonton Oilers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Lightning/Crunch/S. Bears organization

-Did you catch Geo’s response to Sean McIndoe’s roster prediction for the Tampa Bay Lightning? It isn’t to be missed! This was my favorite part:

The really skilled young prospect being miscast as a fourth-line grinder - Completely Correct

Take your pick of players that you think should fill this spot. Danick Martel. Carter Verhaeghe. Alex Barre-Boulet. Alexander Volkov. They all fit the narrative of offensively gifted forwards in the AHL that might not get much of an opportunity while playing on the fourth line when they’re probably skilled enough to play up the line up on a worse team.

-It seems odd somehow that it’s power ranking time already, but ESPN says it is!

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 1

Stanley Cup odds: 7-1

The Lightning were a regular-season juggernaut who flamed out in the playoffs. They’re banking on not letting that mistake happen again, returning with essentially the same roster for 2019-20. But before the season, they need to ink ascending star forward Brayden Point, a restricted free agent, to a new deal.

-Let’s ramp up the Brayden Point angst a bit higher, shall we?

-Those in the Tampa area who haven’t checked out the Lightning’s Learn to Play yet still have time!

-The Crunch have begun their brainstorming for the upcoming season! If you’d like to do me a favor, could you tweet at them and tell them how much they’d love for the Crunch to do a Harry Potter night? Thanks!

-The Orlando Solar Bears signed forward Jimmy Lodge yesterday.

“We feel there is a lot of upside in adding a player such as Jimmy to our roster,” Solar Bears head coach and general manager Drake Berehowsky said. “He has spent the majority of his career in the American Hockey League, and we expect him to log a significant amount of ice time and generate offense for us.”

The Others

-The Toronto Maple Leafs did a thing yesterday. A potentially mysterious, far-reaching thing involving David Clarkson, Garret Sparks, and....Michal Neuvirth?

-Why did I say that this could be potentially far-reaching? Well...

-Sparks got in what appeared to be a final word once news of the trade was released.

-Pension Plan Puppets did a great job covering Neuvirth’s PTO.

-Mike Murphy over at Blue Shirt Banter wrote a good piece about Kaapo Kakko and the challenges playing hockey with both Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease presents.

The winger was diagnosed with both conditions about five years ago, which means that they are nothing new to Kakko. And, given how he has played with and against men in Liiga and at the 2019 World Championships, it’s safe to assume that he is on top of managing life as a diabetic who needs to have a gluten-free diet. Leading up to the draft, he was quick to dismiss the impact that diabetes and celiac have on his life and his game.

“It was five years ago, and I was given no restrictions then by doctors, nor do I have any now,” Kakko shared an interview before the 2019 Draft. “Nothing. It’s not affecting my game in any way, and I don’t even think about it.”

-Speaking of BSB, episode 150 of Bantering the Blueshirts came out yesterday, where the hosts broke down the Jacob Trouba contract.

-Ian Tulloch over at The Athletic (pay-walled) mused about the potential top-10 breakout NHL players for the upcoming season.

-Jack Edwards, the play-by-play person for the Boston Bruins, was on the Bruins Beat podcast this week.

-Mike McKenna’s podcast featured 1999-2000 Vezina Trophy winner Olaf Kolzig.

-The Nashville Predators and Colton Sissons avoided arbitration with a 7-year deal.

-The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association is making strides to inform the public about their plans for the future. They released their nine-person board this past week: Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne-Schofield, Noora Räty, Shannon Szabados, Brianne Jenner, Liz Knox, Kimberly Sass, and Alyssa Gagliardi.

“We wanted to make sure that all areas and aspects of women’s hockey were covered so that they had representation,” Szabados told The Ice Garden. “So that’s why you’ll see the National Team players, non-National Team players, some from Canada, some from the US, some from Europe, some goalies, some forwards.”

-Do you want a job?

-If you haven’t gotten emotional yet today, I have just the thing for you: Humboldt bus crash survivor Graysen Cameron is going out for that same team again this fall.

“My only focus is getting to Humboldt and being able to perform there. I don’t want to show up and be average, I want to make a name for myself in the league, and do whatever it takes to try and get a championship there,” Cameron said.