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Lightning Round: Remembering the last time Tampa Bay played in Toronto

and the Jack Eichel Saga ends?

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five
TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 31: Pat Maroon #14 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates as the game-winning goal from teammate Victor Hedman past Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Boston Bruins during the second overtime period to win Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 31, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning are set to visit the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first time in over a year tonight. The last contest between the two teams was a 2-1 loss for the Bolts just days before the COVID-19 pandemic became a pandemic. The team, however, returned to Toronto when they hosted half the NHL’s 2020 playoff bubble.

The Lightning only played two rounds at Scotiabank Arena, but they won both. Namely, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets in five, who had beaten the Leafs in the pre-qualifying, and then beating the Boston Bruins in five as well.

Safe to say the blue and white team showed the Leafs how it’s done on both accounts.

Oh wait, that was the other year we beat them in five. Ah yes, this is the one. Who could forget double overtime.

Luckily for Leafs fans (of which I sadly am one due to my birthplace), the Bolts then travelled to Edmonton for the final two rounds before hoisting the Stanley Cup after beating the New York Islanders and Dallas Stars.

And after doing it all again last year, they return where it all began.

This trip down memory lane was inspired by Acha and her needling of Leafs fans yesterday morning.

It should be a good game tonight; both teams have won a few games in a row after slow starts to the season, and both teams have their top Russians out in Nikita Kucherov and Ilya Mikheyev. No doubt those are huge blows to both rosters.

In organization news, Aaron Luchuk won ECHL player of the month for the Orlando Solar Bears.

The Lightning had their names added to the Stanley Cup, while Brad Aldridge has his name removed. I looked at Ryan Rishaug’s tweet and saw a lot of names from the 2010 team that probably should also have some x’s stamped on top.

Jack Eichel Saga Continues

There were a lot of reports and tweets yesterday regarding Jack Eichel and his “heating up” trade market. We’ve been hearing that everyone has been close for weeks, months, almost decades now, and last night was one of those nights where something might’ve happened, but then it got debunked.

First, this tweet that laid out a myriad of potential assets going back to Buffalo. I will say this, I don’t think all of these pieces were on the table at once, more like the sides might’ve been debating on what combination of them to trade. Like I could see Matthew Tkachuk, two prospects, and a first round pick going, but in that case I couldn’t see the Flames giving up Juuso Välimäki and Connor Zary.

The Vegas Golden Knights have also been consistently in on Eichel from the start so then this theory got out there, which I’d completely buy because none of the other insiders seemed to agree with Weekes.

I wonder why the increase in pressure to get the deal done has happened now.

And as I said, the insiders seemed to think that Calgary package later in the evening wasn’t on.

And lastly Andy Strickland, who covers the St. Louis Blues, where Tkachuk Sr. lives and works, says Matthew Tkachuk isn’t part of the deal. As a pending RFA you would think he would be part of a contract extension of a deal was on so that made sense to me.

So where we stand now is probably some more waiting.

Late-breaking update: