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Lightning Round: Todd Richards leaves Tampa for Nashville

No, Nikita Nesterov isn’t coming back to Tampa

NHL: OCT 26 Red Wings at Lightning Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As it was announced yesterday, former Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards was hired for the same position with the Nashville Predators. Richards spent the previous four seasons with the Lightning and won the Stanley Cup with the team around a month ago.

According to Pierre LeBrun, Richards reached out to the Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois and head coach Jon Cooper and said that he’d welcome a “change of scenery” and expressed a desire to continue growing as a coach after the end of the last season. BriseBois gave him a permission to talk with other teams and released him from his current contract, when Richards received an offer from Nashville.

Before being hired as the Lightning assistant coach, Richards spent seven years as the head coach of two NHL teams: he had been a head coach of the Minnesota Wild during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons and coached the Columbus Blue Jackets since the 2011-12 season until being fired at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, when the Jackets went 0-7 in the first seven games. However he still wrote a new page in the history of the Jackets franchise by leading the team to their first postseason win during the 2014 NHL playoffs, although eventually the Jackets lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-4 in the first round.

Most recently Richards was in charge of defence and the penalty kill for the Lightning. According to BriseBois, Jon Cooper is currently looking for a potential replacement for Richards. The rest of the coaching staff is expected to return for the next season.

Around the League

About a week ago, we reported that former Lightning player Nikita Nesterov is being close to return to Tampa, however the Russian defenceman has signed a one-year deal with the Calgary Flames yesterday. Both sides agreed to a one-way deal, worth $700,000 per season.

Yesterday the general managers of the NHL teams had a two-hour meeting regarding the start of the new season. With the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restriction still in place, there’s no exact scenario for the 2020-21 season. The league is still targeting January 1 as the potential start of the next season, but it will be likely postponed to a later date. One of the possibilities is to start the new season in four modified hubs with hoping that the fans will be allowed in the stands at some point of the season. Michael Russo of the Athletic had a detailed breakdown of that meeting

Team Russia revealed their roster for the Karjala Cup, which is scheduled to be played in November in Finland. Russia decided to send a full U20 roster, so it might be a first look on their potential roster for the World Juniors. Maxim Groshev, who was selected by the Lightning in the third round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, has made the team.

The Sweden U20 team is playing in a small tournament against Finland next month too and Hugo Alnefelt has also made the team

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed a defenceman Travis Dermott to a one-year contract, worth $874,125 per season.

First-rounder Marco Rossi has signed a entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed a defenceman Gustav Forsling to a league minumum contract