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Quick Strikes: The Lightning lead the NHL front office confidence rankings for 2019

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Again.

2019 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The Bolts

Dom Luszczyszyn at The Athletic [paywalled] released his front office confidence rankings article. Each summer, he surveys NHL fans to see who is feeling most confident in the direction of their front office. And this year, the Lightning won again, for the third time in the four years that Dom has been conducting this survey.

Tampa Bay is still the class of the league, the favourites for next year’s Cup thanks to a very strong roster that’s well managed under the cap with few bad deals on the books – though the newest contract to star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is rather iffy. Despite always finishing near the top of the league, the team has been able to draft well and develop a strong NHL pipeline, which is perhaps one of the team’s most envious traits. The vision is elite and it’s hard to knock much Lightning brass do. The culture here is so strong, that even a change in GM midway through the season doesn’t faze people much in what this team can accomplish going forward. Hopefully this time next year they have more playoff wins to show for it though.

The Prospects

Yesterday, we wrote about Cole Guttman as part of the Top 25 Under 25 Series. Guttman is becoming an interesting prospect in the Lightning system after a strong freshman year at University of Denver.

Last year, he made his way to the University of Denver and recorded 14 goals and 26 points in 41 games as a 19 year-old freshman. Guttman finished fifth on the team in points, fourth among forwards, and his 14 goals were third on the team. Among U20 NCAA players, he finished tied for 13th in points and tied for 8th among forwards in points. He also tied for 4th in goals.

The Orlando Solar Bears announced that they’e added Jared Staal to their coaching staff. Staal comes from a famous hockey family and is the brother of Jordan, Eric, and Marc who are all still playing in the NHL.

As a player, Staal enjoyed a seven-year professional career, including a two-game stint with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. Staal played the majority of his career in the American Hockey League, where he accrued 36 points (17g-19a) and 99 penalty minutes in 232 games with the Charlotte Checkers, Providence Bruins and San Antonio Rampage. He also played 97 games in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays and Florida Everblades, recording 35 points (18g-17a) and 29 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 201-pound winger concluded his career in 2016-17, when he suited up for the Edinburgh Capitals of Great Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League, generating 33 points (12g-21a) and 14 penalty minutes in 44 games.

The Game

The Penguins made a signing yesterday inking recently acquired blue liner John Marino to an entry-level contract. That signing triggered the condition on their trade with the Edmonton Oilers to acquire Marino.

The Dog

As suggested by Boomkk47 in the comments yesterday, we will be bringing you daily updates on Bolt, the pup the Lightning recently adopted. Because of course we will. He’s very important.

Wait a second, this isn’t a dog...ah, well. We’ll get the hang of this new section eventually.