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Quick Strikes: Kevin Shattenkirk comes to Tampa because it’s been awhile since they picked up a Ranger

The Lightning’s newest defenseman wasn’t happy to be bought out, but he is happy to be in Tampa.

St. Louis Blues v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

While the rest of the world was wondering how to defend their yard against 30-50 feral hogs, the Tampa Bay Lightning took advantage of another’s team cap misfortune to strengthen their defense. A few days after the New York Rangers bought out Kevin Shattenkirk, the Lightning signed the 30-year-old defender to a one-year contract. While he might not be the same player that was the most sought after deadline acquisition in 2017, he should be able to adequately replace Dan Girardi in the Lightning’s line-up.

The Lightning

Shattenkirk’s signing was the big news of the day in Tampa and around the league. After getting bought out by the Rangers, the Lightning should be getting a highly motivated player. [Raw Charge]

He’ll also be motivated to prove that he is still a capable defenseman in the NHL. He’s 30 years old and not getting any younger. While he’s going to be getting paid from his buyout over the next four years, you know that he’ll be looking to prove himself for a bigger contract when he hits free agency again next summer.

He’s coming to Tampa with a “chip on his shoulder” and that’s not a bad thing. [Tampa Bay Times]

“I have a huge chip on my shoulder right now,” Shattenkirk said. “Talking with Coach (Jon) Cooper and some of the players in Tampa, knowing what happened to them last year in the playoffs, I feel like we kind of share that mentality.”

General Manager Julien BriseBois wasn’t exactly looking for a defender at this point in the summer (after all, once you sign Luke Schenn do you really need another blueliner?)Joe Smith has a nice look at where the newest member of the team may slot into the line-up. [The Athletic - subscription required (and recommended)]

BriseBois said he wasn’t looking to add a defenseman at this point of the summer, having already signed Luke Schenn to a one-year deal on July 1, re-signed Braydon Coburn to a two-year deal and re-upped Jan Rutta for another year. But when Shattenkirk became available and was interested in working with Tampa Bay on a contract, BriseBois called pursuing him a “no-brainer.”

Could we see a McDonagh/Shattenkirk pairing? McDonagh was a big reason Shattenkirk signed with New York as a free agent back in 2017 [Twitter]

Julien BriseBois talked to the press about the Shattenkirk signing. That also means he had to answer questions about Brayden Point. Things are...well nothing has changed. [Twitter]

The Prospects

We kicked off our annual Top 25 Under 25 series and Ross Colton just made the cut, coming in at 25. The hardworking center wasn’t expected to make the Crunch at the beginning of the season, yet he ended up being one of their key depth players. [Raw Charge]

In terms of players with the most to gain by playing well, Colton will be one of the most interesting players to follow in camp. He showed last season that he’s capable of earning ice time. And that’s what makes him a fun prospect. His opportunity will be largely dependent on if any of the players in front of him make the roster in Tampa. And if they do, expect Colton to take full advantage and be one of the players to fill the voided minutes in Syracuse.

A couple of prospects just finished playing some hockey. They didn’t do too bad, either. Will it help them in their top 25 rankings? You’ll have to keep reading to find out. [Raw Charge]

Although the Canadians finished the showcase with a mediocre 2-2-0 record, several top NHL prospects excelled for them, including the Tampa Bay Lightning’s only two prospects at the showcase in Nolan Foote and Gabriel Fortier. In fact, their performances over the last week were so impressive that it would be more surprising if they were left off the final team in December.

As Crunch radio broadcaster Lukas Favale points out, Shattenkirk’s signing could be a bonus for Syracuse as well. More blueliners for Coach Groulx to play with! [Twitter]

The Game

Alex Ovechkin is in China and he’s doing hockey things. The veteran winger is teaching hockey to local children. He also took a tour of the venue where the 2022 Olympics will be hosted. Will it be the only time a NHL player sets foot in that rink? Only time will tell. [NHL]

Although Ovechkin, who arrived in China on Sunday as an international ambassador for the NHL, made the days of the 12-and-under players who skated with him, he also fulfilled a dream for Peter Zhong. A redshirt freshman forward for Arizona State University, Zhong was born in Beijing and got to pass to Ovechkin for one-timers while serving as his co-counselor at the clinic.

If things are “optimistic” with Point, what are they with Mitch Marner? According to Kyle Dubas, it seems about the same. [Yahoo Sports]

“And I think the reality is, it’s the status quo with all these types of players throughout the league. There doesn’t seem to be anything really transpiring, and as it gets into August, it’s kind of into a bit of a slog where there doesn’t seem to be any real progress, you don’t even hear of any progress in any of the other situations.”

It’s new Gritty content! Look, it’s August, there isn’t much going on, so yes we will link to a video of a mascot spending a day with his pet hermit crab. [NBC Sports Philadelphia]

Gritty has a pet hermit crab. Its name is Claw’d.

For the 7-foot Gritty, it’s taken a little time to get used to caring for tiny Claw’d.

Dwelling around Wells Fargo Center, Gritty was already well aware of how popular crab fries are in Philly. He won’t tolerate them anywhere near Claw’d when the two are out on a walk