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Quick Strikes: The PWHPA is going on tour and Jacob Trouba speaks out

Also, Matt Hunwick gets dropped off in Robidas Island.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 13
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 22: Gold medal winners Meghan Duggan #10 and Hilary Knight #21 of the United States celebrate after defeating Canada in a shootout in the Women’s Gold Medal Game on day thirteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Bolts

Erik Cernak came in at #5 in our Tampa Bay Lightning 2019 Top 25 Under 25 prospect ranking. Cernak jumped into the NHL after coming to the Lightning in the Ben Bishop trade a few years ago and performed quite well in the top-four. Where he goes from here will be quite interesting. [Raw Charge]

Alongside McDonagh, the pair became the Lightning’s shut down pair. The duo was tasked with taking on the toughest of opposition the other coaches could put on the ice and they fared very well. This also opened up the ice more for Victor Hedman to take on lesser competition and use his offensive skills.

The Lightning did some promoting of their initiatives over the summer. First up, an all-expenses paid trip to Sweden to watch the Lightning play the Buffalo Sabres in November! And it’s sponsored by vodka! Who wouldn’t want that!

Second, the Lightning and Marathon Petro have teamed up to give away some cool autographed Bolts gear. The promotion is today, check it out if you have the time!

The Prospects

Organization content was quite sparse yesterday, the only other news came from the Orlando Solar Bears, who signed Sammy Walker’s teammate from the Minnesota Gophers Darian Romanko to an ECHL contract. He was with the Norfolk Admirals for the back half of the season before signing in Orlando.

The Game

Over the summer, the world’s best women’s hockey players created a union in order to advocate for equal treatment (money, facilities, etc) with the men. They believe the NWHL is not sufficient for their services and have now announced their Dream Gap Tour: a series of games across Canada and the USA that will include “community involvement events and four games where the top players in the sport are on display.” Their statement is below. [PWHPA]

“This is a year of purpose for every member of the Players Association. Young hockey players – boys and girls – should be able to share a dream of one day making a living as a professional hockey player,” said Kendall Coyne Schofield, captain of the U.S. National Hockey Team, Olympic Gold Medalist and the first woman to compete in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. “That reality doesn’t exist today for girls. Together, we are on a mission to change that.”

The Globetrotters squad will also play a game against San Jose Sharks alumni on September 22nd. So cool!

In NHL news, goalie Cam Ward signed a one-day contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and then retired from hockey. The long-time Canes goalie won a Stanley Cup in his rookie season, had a good handful of years, and then tailed off in the second half of his career. Overall, that’s a successful career. Happy retirement!

This bomb dropped hard in Canada, as two of Sportsnet’s biggest talents, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean, were officially let go from the company after a tough season for the Canadian provider of NHL content. Steve Simmons also reported that John Shannon was part of the cuts. Just read the comments to each of their posts. It was time.

The New York Islanders have come to terms with RFA forward Anthony Beauvillier, signing him to a two-year bridge deal worth $2.1 million per season. [Lighthouse Hockey]

One thing that appears clear based on the Islanders’ offseason work: That case will be built as a winger. Though drafted as a center, he’s played very little time there in the NHL. Although Lou Lamoriello implied Beauvillier was a candidate in the pool of possible centers to replace the departed Valtteri Filppula, the signing of Derick Brassard makes that sound like it was more negotiating tactics to signal to Brassard’s agent that the team was prepared to look internally.

Jacob Trouba spoke to ESPN about his desire to be traded out of Winnipeg. The reason is a lot more mature than most “pundits” claimed to be true over the years. [ESPN]

The comments reverberated across the internet, and Trouba was celebrated as a feminist. The 25-year-old was taken aback by the reaction; this is the way he has always felt. He isn’t ungrateful for his time in Winnipeg, but the truth is, it is a lot easier on his personal life to play for an American team.

The Buffalo Sabres have placed Matt Hunwick on LTIR for the season following news that Hunwick has a neck condition. The creates $2.25 million in cap space for the Sabres but comes with all the same complications and caveats that we discussed in relation to Ryan Callahan being on LTIR before the Lightning moved his contract to Ottawa. [Die By The Blade]

It seems likely that Hunwick has played his final NHL game. In his career, he played 535 games, scoring 25 goals and adding 94 assists. His biggest impact came as a member of the Boston Bruins, where he had his best season in 2009-10. After proving himself in Colorado, Hunwick was invited to join Team USA for the 2013 World Championships.