Welcome to Labor Day Weekend! Hopefully, you have a long weekend away from work or if not, at least a day or two. Unfortunately for those of us in Florida, we’re dealing with a storm that just 24 hours ago, looked like it was likely to ruin all of our weekends. But based on the recent models, it looks like the forecast might be improving and if we get really lucky, maybe Dorian will cruise out to sea and leave us all alone.
But considering everything, we’re going to keep the site running light this weekend. We’ll bring you news and notes in Quick Strikes through Monday but other than that, things will probably be quiet around here unless the team decides to give us some breaking news. Yesterday, we reached number three in our Top 25 Under 25 countdown. If the weather cooperates, we’ll resume that list and get back to our regularly scheduled content on Tuesday.
So for now, good luck to everyone and all the best to you and your families. Hopefully, we get to spend the weekend eating our hurricane snacks as the storm fades east into the Atlantic.
As mentioned above, we continued the T25U25 yesterday with a great piece from Hardev on Anthony Cirelli. My feelings on Cirelli should be well established at this point. On most teams, he’d be getting a shot at moving into the top six but with the Lightning’s depth, he’ll continue to be one of the best third line centers in the NHL.
Another thing that has allowed Cirelli to become one of the most impactful players on his team despite not having the elite talent like others higher in the lineup is the next level determination and willpower he imposes on the defenders against him in the offensive zone. He simply works harder and faster than you and if you’re not ready to react as fast as him, you’re going to be left behind.
The Lightning will participate in the Rookie Showcase in Nashville next weekend. The team announced the roster late on Thursday and yesterday, Geo put together some notes on every player who will be in attendance including the undrafted invitees.
Eli Zummack (invitee) - Zummack is a small center at 5’9” and 179 pounds. He’s been passed over twice in the NHL Entry Draft. He scored 15 goals and 68 points in 61 games last year in the WHL. He’s certainly got a playmakers touch and is probably looking to show enough here and through the season to earn an ELC with an NHL organization.
Zach Fucale got a slick new helmet.
The biggest news of the day was that the NHL owners decided not to opt out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement before their deadline of September 1st. That means the decision to opt out is now up to the Players’ Association. They have until September 15th to decide. If they decide not to opt out, that would be an indication that the two sides think they can avoid another work stoppage. But if not, well, you know.
The encouraging thing is that the signs sound like they’re good. In January of this year, The Athletic’s Pierre Lebrun was writing that both sides genuinely appeared to want labour peace.There was some incentive at the same time to try and save the 2020 World Cup, which was of interest to the ownership, but that hasn’t worked out (their sights are now apparently on 2022.) Still, the tone of the discussions was a lot closer to “let’s make a deal” than the league somberly declaring no one within a thousand miles was making any money. That’s encouraging.
Jesse Puljujarvi made an immediate impact upon returning to hockey in Europe. The Oilers. What would we do if ever went a day where they didn’t look silly?