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Lightning Round: No updates on next week’s games against the Hurricanes

The AHL released the 2020-21 regular season schedule.

NHL: JAN 05 Lightning at Hurricanes Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tonight the Tampa Bay Lightning will face the Columbus Blue Jackets in their second game in two days at the Nationwide Arena in Ohio. However, where the Lightning are heading afterwards is still not clear. Per Jon Cooper the team still hasn’t been informed if the two games against the Carolina Hurricanes will be played next week according to the current schedule.

The NHL postponed the Hurricanes games through Saturday earlier this week after four of their players – Warren Foegele, Jordan Martinook, Jaccob Slavin and Teuvo Teravainen – were placed on the COVID-19 protocol list. The Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal has been placed on the same list since last Friday. Due to this announcement the Hurricanes haven’t played against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday and against the Florida Panthers on Thursday, the tonight’s game against the Panthers has also been postponed.

The Hurricanes training facilities has also been closed for players until the further notice. According to the Canes head coach Rod Brind’Amour, the team is trying to hold practice via Zoom.

Meanwhile the Lightning have already had two games postponed due to a similar situation in the Dallas Stars organization. Another postponement could mean that the Lightning will play just four games in more than two weeks since the start of the regular season, which isn’t very helpful for the players who need to stay in shape through the season. At the same time the Lightning’s goaltender Curtis McElhinney remains the only Lightning player on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

Lightning Links

Yesterday the AHL released the full schedule for the 2020-21 regular season. Tracey did a breakdown of the 32-game schedule for the Syracuse Crunch [Raw Charge]

The Crunch will play a total of 32 regular season games, 16 home/16 away, against just three teams: Utica (14 games), Rochester (12), and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (6), their three closest opponents in proximity. Binghamton, which is just about an hour’s drive south on Interstate 81, may have been included as an opponent had they not temporarily relocated to the parent Devils’ practice facility in Newark, New Jersey.

The opening game of the regular season is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 6 at their home arena against the Utica Comets.

Not entirely Lightning news, but Mathieu Joseph’s brother Pierre-Oliver has recorded his first assist in his first NHL game and was named the third star of the game for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Orlando Solar Bears signed forward Zack Andrusiak to an ECHL Standard Player Contract for the 2020-21 season. He spent the previous season with the Idaho Steelheads in the ECHL.

Sammy Walker scored his seventh goal of the season for University of Minnesota last night

Hockey News

Apparently the NBC is shutting down its NBC Sports Network channel by the end of this year. The NBC will move its media rights to many sports events, including the NHL, to USA Network.

The Dallas Stars opened their regular season with a 7-0 win over the Nashville Predators. Anton Khudobin recorded his 100th career win and 9th career shutout.

According to Darren Dreger, the Columbus Blue Jackets are closing a Pierre Luc Dubois trade. The 22-year old player could be traded before tonight’s game against the Lightning.

The Winnipeg Jets have also placed Patrick Laine on injured reserved. According to the rumors, he could be a part of the deal involving Pierre Luc Dubois.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed Joe Thornton on long term injured reserve due to a fractured rib.