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Lightning Round: Happy New Year

The World Juniors bracket, ECHL recalls, and RFA signings.

Tampa Bay Lightning Victory Rally & Boat Parade
TAMPA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 30: General view of stage as confetti is released as Tampa Bay Lightning players celebrate during the 2020 Stanley Cup Champion rally on September 30, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

While 2020 did have it’s moment...

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 28: The Tampa Bay Lightning pose with the Stanley Cup following the series-winning victory over the Dallas Stars in Game Six of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on September 28, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

...it was mostly a steaming pile of too many men calls. 2021 won’t be a magical fix for the problems of the world, but at least it’s an opportunity for a fresh start, and that’s all we can ask for.

Training camp for the Tampa Bay Lightning is set to begin on Sunday, January 3rd. The day after, the Syracuse Crunch will declare whether they’ll play the 2021 AHL season. And then in about a week and a half, the 2021 regular season will begin. The banner will be raised, we’ll have a season, and maybe we’ll even win the Cup for a second pandemic year in a row! That would be a heck of a thing. But even if that doesn’t happen, we hope you all have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable year ahead.

We thank you for sticking with us at the site, supporting us, and creating an enthusiastic, open, and comfortable community in support of the Lightning organization. We love what we do, and we love that we’re going to keep doing it for another year and beyond.

World Juniors

We’re into the single-game elimination portion of the World Junior Championships. The quarter-finals will be played on Friday, starting at noon ET. The semi-finals will be on Monday, with the gold medal game on Tuesday.

Lightning prospects Maxim Groshev (Russia) and Hugo Alnefelt (Sweden) have made it to the knockout round, though they’ll have to face each other in the semis if they both make it through on Friday. Team USA is on the other side of the bracket and on a huge winning streak (22-0 shutout streak in their last three games). They’re my favourite to win the whole tournament.

2021 WJC elimination bracket
IIHF.com

Lightning Links

We’re getting close to the beginning of training camp and that means players have begun to congregate in Tampa Bay. While we don’t anticipate any players from Europe being able to make camp, those currently playing in the ECHL have been called up for the two week camp. The following five players on NHL contracts were recalled by Tampa Bay, per ECHL Transactions: Dmitri Semykin, Devante Stephens, Alex Greens, Jimmy Huntington, and Ryan Lohin.

After some hemming and hawing during the afternoon, the Columbus Blue Jackets signed frontman Pierre-Luc Dubois to a two-year bridge contract. Despite the deal getting made, it seems love has been lost between the two sides and “both sides” are looking for a trade. Unofficial rumor has John Tortorella as the cause after he was seen screaming at Dubois during the playoffs.

The New York Islanders have signed several players to unknown contracts yesterday. Mat Barzal has still yet to sign with the Islanders having less than $3 million in cap space. I assume Andrew Ladd is being LTIR’d? I don’t see how else they can solve their situation.