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Lightning Round: The Bolts’ training camp is open

Check out our report from the opening day.

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NHL Kraft Hockeyville USA Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Lightning and other teams eligible to play in a 24-team tournament have opened their training camps for the first day of Phase 3. In case you missed it, our reporter Matt covered the opening day for our site [Raw Charge]:

On Saturday, Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois revealed that captain Steven Stamkos suffered a lower body injury during Phase 2 and would not be a full participant at the start of training camp. Between the first and second groups of players Stamkos took the ice alongside trainer Mikey Poirier. He started with a few conditioning laps, followed up by some footwork drills. He then transitioned to his spot above the left faceoff circle where Poirier fed him a few passes that saw Stamkos settle the puck and then fire them on net. Afterwards, the captain did a figure eight cone drill followed by a simple board drill. He finished with some one-timer practice before leaving the ice. In total, Stamkos was on the ice for roughly 30-40 minutes.

Greg Auman and Joe Smith of the Athletic also published a report from yesterday’s practice and zoom conference with players and Jon Cooper on their site, you can check it too if you need another angle of the first day [The Athletic, paid content]:

So the Lightning had all 33 players participating in practice in some fashion, free from illness or significant injury. Each practice session had 16 players — five defensemen wearing black and three sets of three forwards in white, blue and yellow, along with two goalies. With Stamkos sidelined, the Lightning plugged rookie Carter Verhaeghe into his spot on the top line with Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov, with Alex Killorn, Anthony Cirelli and Ondrej Palat on the second line in the morning session. In another encouraging sign, defenseman Jan Rutta, who had been limited by a lower-body injury before the pause, was paired with Victor Hedman as the top defensemen, working in front of starting goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The Lightning players have expressed themselves on getting back to practice and chasing Stanley Cup in the middle of pandemic.

Meanwhile, the NHL has released a statement regarding results of COVID-19 testing during Phase 2 of RTP plan. According to them, 30 players have tested positive and there are also 13 players outside of the Phase 2 Protocol who have also returned positive tests.

On Sunday some sources reported that three players of the Montreal Canadiens have tested positive, however two of them turned out to be “false positives“ according to recent information.

Yesterday was the last day when players could use their rights to opt out of the 24-team tournament without penalty. You can find a list of players below.

The Florida Panthers assistant coach has also used this option.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been left without goaltender Corey Crawford for the qualifying round who is currently “unfit to play“.

The Minnesota Wild have signed a Russian forward Kirill Kaprizov for two year entry-level contract. He’s still not eligible to play for the rest of the season but can participate at practices with the team.

Reportedly the New York Islanders have signed Russian goaltender Ilya Sorokin to one-year contract, basically immediately burning it.

Alex Killorn posted the season finale of Dock Talk on his Instagram with some special guests.

Mikhail Sergachev has also made a preview of the playoffs in a Harry Potter style.