News in the NHL continues to trickle out slower than traffic on the Howard Frankland at rush hour. The Canucks did renew their faith in General Manager Jim Benning and now he has to hope the veterans he brought in this summer mesh well with the youngsters already on the roster.
In Toronto, the Mitch Marner negotiations have hit the “Will he play in Europe?” stage in the media cycle with reports that he might play for Zurich if his contract with the Leafs isn’t ironed out before the season starts. Meanwhile there is no news on Brayden Point joining the Brandon Beer League if things sour on his negotiations.
The Top 25 Under 25 ranking continues to roll on with a very intriguing forward who might be on the cusp of finally making it to the NHL.
Ryan Callahan strapped some skates on his son for the first time. The kid immediately skated to the corner of the living room and checked his Thomas the Train figure into the wall. [Twitter]
Little mans first pair of skates!!! “Hockey” pic.twitter.com/rJDkxuFSWu— Ryan Callahan (@TheRealCally24) August 18, 2019
Carter Verhaeghe checks in at number 12 on the Top 25 Under 25. [Raw Charge]
The biggest thing Verhaeghe did last season was be consistent in a sea of inconsistencies. From puck drop in October until puck flop in April, when the Crunch was rudely ousted from the Calder Cup playoffs in the first round, Verhaeghe maintained a cool, calm, and collected attitude. That attitude played a part in a season that saw Verhaeghe rack up the minutes, the points, and the trust.
An outside look at the Andrei Vasilevskiy signing. [NHL Trade Rumors]
But when it comes to the postseason, he’s gone 15-15 in 33 appearances with a 2.83 GAA and a 91.9 save percentage. If these numbers don’t improve and the Lightning fail to win a Stanley Cup in the next two or three years it’s possible the club will try to get out of the contract once the modified trade clause kicks in.
Howard Dolgon, the owner of the Syracuse Crunch, is in Syracuse meeting with the Crunch’s Chief Operating Officer and the Senior VP of Business Operations/CFO/Alternate Governor. It will be interesting to see what comes out of these meetings. [Twitter]
Early morning flight to Syracuse but energy level super high today. Major @SyracuseCrunch meetings set for today. Off season has been strongest in years with more good news to come shortly. See you soon @JimSarosy and @VanceLederman— Howard Dolgon (@HowardDolgon) August 20, 2019
The team that bounced the Crunch from the playoffs in the first round of the playoffs last season extended their affiliation with the team that knocked the Lightning out of the first round of the playoffs last season. [Twitter]
The Crunch are looking for some video interns. It’s a great chance to get your foot in the door with a well-run AHL franchise. [Twitter]
Remember the guy who gave the Lightning a 1st round pick for J.T. Miller? He got an extension. The Canucks extended the contract of Jim Benning for three more years. He’ll get to stick around to see how the young kids turn out. [Vancouver Sun]
It often overshadows the work that has been done because the GM’s strength is understanding where the game is going. The first-round selections of Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes — and trying to surround them with support — has been critical even though it has come with considerable scrutiny.
With the Hurricanes' new road uni release, their uni set now looks like this. pic.twitter.com/DzLz8wHNQw— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) August 20, 2019
ESPN names an All-Decade roster for each NHL team in the league. Hey, look Alex Killorn made it for the Lightning. That should go over well. [ESPN]
One of the toughest calls of the decade: Martin St. Louis, the personification of the Lightning entering the decade, vs. Kucherov, who captured the Hart Trophy last season, on right wing. We’ll give Kucherov the nod here because of his role in the Jon Cooper era and because his final year of the decade probably puts him over the top.
It’s been at least three hours since the last Mitch Marner rumor so where is he going to play next year? Switzerland? Sure, why not. [Twitter]
Reports are accurate the Marner camp has had discussions with Zurich. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him go there to train in early Sept. Dubas and Ferris met last week. Positive talks, but no progress.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) August 20, 2019
The Brothers Brown made it on T.V. Former Lightning forward J.T. Brown and his brother, Sieed, were in the crowd for a WWE event and were shown celebrating the new tag team champions. [Twitter]
Florida Man News:
It’s a sweltering morning in Lake Worth, Florida and you’re running a little late for work. After a nice refreshing glass of local orange juice, you grab your briefcase and head out the front door of your apartment. The next thing you know a small furry mammal native to Central and South America is latched onto your leg. [Time]
Natalie Dulach said the furry mammal with sharp claws clung to the man’s leg as he fought to get it out. The man managed to lock the long-tailed animal in the bathroom until wildlife officers arrived.