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Quick Strikes: The Athletic ranks Tampa Bay Lightning farm system 23rd in league


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NHL: JUN 27 Tampa Bay Lightning Development Camp Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bolts

Perhaps this eternal underrating of Tampa Bay Lightning draft picks and prospects is one of Al Murray’s strength as a scout. I’m not sure where The Athletic’s Corey Pronman would’ve ranked Tyler Johnson or Yanni Gourde upon first glance, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have forseen their consistent roles on a playoff team. So keep underrating the Lightning farm system; bless your hearts.

What do you guys think?

2019 NHL farm system rankings: No. 23 Tampa Bay Lightning [The Athletic, paid content]

Tampa’s AHL team, Syracuse, was dominant last season on the backs of a lot of young players. Several players took significant steps forward in the AHL, as well as Tampa seeing a few late-round college picks start to generate real interest. The top-end isn’t amazing, but there’s real quality depth here to help supplement the existing core.

(How Pronman ranked prospects can be found here: Pronman: 2019-20 NHL farm system rankings)

Here’s more stuff.

Lightning offseason workouts range from squats to swimming with parachutes [Tampa Bay Times, paid content]

“We are not powerlifters,” Lambert said. “I don’t care if an athlete comes in and lifts 100 pounds at a certain movement. My goal for them isn’t to lift 200 by the end of the summer.”

The goals are to get stronger, and to do so in a way to prevent injury now and in season. The offseason starts with time off, then work on strength ratios for injury prevention and finally performance.


At the Vegas expansion draft, Tampa Bay paid up, shipping Nikita Gusev to the Golden Knights to ensure Jason Garrison was selected. Garrison, who was no big loss, played eight games for Vegas and the Lightning wouldn’t have been able to afford Gusev anyway. With Tampa Bay’s breadth of talent right now, it’s unlikely the Lightning will bother swinging a deal to protect a player this time around – but who should the club risk?

Trading Adam Erne opens up training camp competition for Tampa Bay Lightning [Raw Charge]

With the Tampa Bay Lightning trading Adam Erne to the Detroit Red Wings, the team has opened up another one of the 13 roster spots for forwards to competition in training camp. Erne was a second round pick of the Lightning in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. His projection was that of a top six complimentary power winger with size. He’s not overly tall at 6’1”, but he had a wide frame that promised plenty of weight to allow him to be physical.

[Insert eyeroll] Here’s another one of our terrible, low-ranking farm team prospects. Tampa Bay Lightning 2019 Top 25 Under 25, #15: Gabriel Fortier is a relentless force at center [Raw Charge]

The lowest rank Fortier got was at #18 by the readers. As for the masthead, Matt and Tracey put him #16 behind a couple AHLers whom they feel to be closer to sure things. I think as the season goes on, Fortier’s stock will rise. And once he gets on the Syracuse Crunch at the end of the season, he’s going to be something we should all be very excited about.

Hey Alex, you gonna get one and play it with me? — Syracuse gets its own official Monopoly game: What’s our Boardwalk and Park Place? []

Nicotera and her colleague Karie Ballway did spill one secret, though: The Marriott Syracuse Downtown (formerly Hotel Syracuse) will be our Boardwalk, and the Syracuse Crunch hockey team will be Park Place.

This is the coolest thing for Orlando residents: Wanna see a Solar Bears game for free? Use your library card! [Orlando Weekly] [Click Orlando]

Participants in Local Wanderer can reserve free passes to these institutions online at: Each pass gives cardholders a 14-day check-out period to show the reservation and card for free admission. Some institutions are allowing up to three guests.

Here’s my “this is a stretch but it’s summer” article link: Rogers hire Jake Parenteau as Assistant Coach [Elk River Star]

He played four seasons with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, including two Frozen Four appearances in 2012 and 2014. After playing for the Gophers, he went on to play professional hockey for the Iowa Wild and the Orlando Solar Bears before retiring.

The Game

What the Red Wings Can Expect from Adam Erne [THW]

Last season, Erne earned a full-time spot on the roster with seven goals and 20 points in 65 games. Despite a brief injury, he stayed among the team leaders in hits, with 159. Unfortunately, his time on the ice was limited by the Lightning’s depth at forward. This relegated him to a bottom-six role, where he used his physicality to open up scoring lanes for his linemates. He earned a reputation as a reliable bottom-six forward for his responsible use of his ice time and low penalty minutes.

Gotta end on a hilarious note: