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Lightning Round: two defensemen sign, and one who probably shouldn’t have

And Alex Ovechkin reaches #5.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 6: Mathieu Joseph #7 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates with the puck as Seth Jones #3 of the Columbus Blue Jackets defends during the third period of a game at Nationwide Arena on April 6, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.
Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

It was a quiet off-day for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they get ready for an early road trip starting tonight in Detroit. However, there was some news with respect to the Theme Nights for this season. Those nights includes Hockey Fights Cancer, Hockey Talks, Gasparilla, and Kids Day.

Also in Lightning news, Justin wrote about how the 2021-22 Lightning were built.

“With Alex Barré-Boulet claimed by the Seattle Kraken and Gemel Smith heading to Injured Reserve, we finally have the season-opening roster for the 2021-22 Tampa Bay Lightning. These are the folks that will begin the title defense when the puck drops later today. Officially there are 14 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders on the roster, but that includes Smith and Cal Foote who is also out with an injury.” [Raw Charge]

In league news, the Nashville Predators re-signed Mattias Ekholm to a four-year, $6.35 million AAV contract. Personally, I’m not really sure why the Preds are keeping all these players into their 30s especially when they’re a bad team. Break it up, Poile. The contract itself is fine.

The New York Islanders also re-signed their defenseman, Ryan Pulock to an eight-year contract. He’s good, the team is good, I get it.

Meanwhile, Seth Jones played one of the worst games you possibly could imagine in his Chicago debut. Seth Jones is a good offensive player, but has been genuinely awful at the whole shots and goals against nonsense. When he was acquired by Chicago for multiple first round picks, they gave him an eight-year extension worth $9.5 million per season that doesn’t start until 2022. A lot of people said this in the summer and they’re saying it again now: playing him 25 minutes a night is a disaster on any contract, but it’s cataclysmic with this cap hit. Oh, and he’s going to be USA’s most-used defenseman at the Olympics because Stan Bowman can’t help but be the absolute worst.

In some history, Alex Ovechkin has caught and passed Marcel Dionne for fifth all-time in NHL goals. He’s still scoring at a higher rate than Gretzky but has 162 more goals to score to catch him. I hope he does it.

In more Vitali Kravtsov news, he says he’s willing to go to the AHL in order to leave the Rangers. I doubt that price is going to be paid to New York, it’s just silly.

Henrik Lundqvist has joined MSG as a Rangers analyst.

AHL Utica Comets play-by-play man Jason Shaya comes out and Bob McKenzie has the story.