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Quick Strikes: Mike McKenna retires and Jesse Puljujarvi signs in Finland

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“Thank you for 2017, Mike” - Syracuse Crunch fans

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
UNIONDALE, NY - APRIL 04: Mike McKenna #30 of the Tampa Bay Lightning shoots a clearing pass out from in front of Nate Thompson #45 of the New York Islanders in a National Hockey League game at Nassau Coliseum on April 4, 2009 in Uniondale, New York.
Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning fans should be very excited for what Taylor Raddysh can bring to the team in the very near future. As a big, skilled shooter, Raddysh slots in at #6 in our Top 25 Under 25 ranking. [Raw Charge]

For the most part, the Raw Charge staff seemed to be pretty high on Raddysh (although our two Syracuse experts in Alex and Justin had him 12th and 13th, respectively). Our readers were rather all over the place, with Raddysh being ranked as high as second and as low as 25th. Although Raddysh’s AHL rookie season was encouraging, there is still some debate as to when he’ll be able to make the leap to the NHL, and what kind of role he’ll be able to fill once he’s up there.

New signing Patrick Maroon spoke to the NHL Network about his new contract with the Bolts and what he hopes to bring as a member of the team this season.

The Prospects

Lightning prospect Sammy Walker is back in Minnesota with his Gopher bros. The 20-year-old center is heading into his second season with the NCAA team.

Check out the Crunch having some more fun in the community. You can feel the season quickly approaching. Hurry up!

The Orlando Solar Bears have a new set of jerseys for this season Check out the pre-sale! If you want to read about the new update, check out this article. [Pro Hockey News]

Head Coach and General Manager Drake Berehowsky was also on hand to talk about the off-season moves and what to expect for the season to come. “I’m really excited. Anytime you can have a group [like] we have coming back – its a lot of our top guys coming back – we’re really excited,” Berehowsky said. “I feel very fortunate to have these kids coming back. They know what the expectation is, they understand what the culture is on Orlando and hopefully they’ll be able to pass it on to the new guys that we did recruit and we’ll get going right off the bat.”

The Game

Legendary goalie Mike McKenna has announced his retirement after an incredible 14 seasons in professional hockey. McKenna played for 24 different teams, including five in his final season. He’s seen it all, he’s done it all. He played 53 regular games for the Lightning organization over two stints nine seasons apart, including an epic Calder Cup Finals run in 2017. He almost won the AHL championship again the following season with the Texas Stars, and as a Toronto Marlies beat reporter, he sure as hell deserved to win it. McKenna is an AHL legend, full stop, and he’ll go down in the history books that’s for sure.

This retirement tweet is definitely not the last time we’ll hear from McKenna as he’s quickly establishing himself as one of the smartest goalie minds and voices in hockey. His podcast is unreal, especially if you consider the quality and breadth of guests he can find. For example, getting a Canadian IndyCar driver and his Swedish teammate who played goalie as a kid is definitely an episode with an unique perspective.

In one of the most underrated stories in the NHL, Jesse Puljujarvi has essentially ended his career with the Edmonton Oilers and has signed with Karpat of the Finnish Liiga. He won’t return to the NHL unless he is traded away from the team that ruined his first three years in the league.

Ken Holland and the Oilers have their asking price, which is steep considering the lack of leverage they have in this situation. What would you be willing to pay for Jesse Puljujarvi? What do you think would get it done if you were the Lightning?