It’s voting time!
The NHL has opened up it’s fan voting for the 2022 All-Star Game. Fans will be able to vote at NHL.com or through their app from now until January 8th. The All-Star Weekend is scheduled for February 4th-5th in Las Vegas. Unlike in other sports, the fans don’t get to decide who is going to be in the starting line-up, just the captains of each of the four teams (one per division). NHL Hockey Operations then names the rest of the players to the All-Star teams. Each franchise will have at least one player represent them.
So now is your chance to stuff the ballot box for your favorite Tampa Bay Lightning player in order for them to be captain of the Atlantic Division team. The NHL’s voting page lists five Lightning players (Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos, and Andrei Vasilevskiy), but does allow you to search for players to vote for so if you want to cast your vote for Cal Foote, go right ahead.
Fans are allowed to vote a maximum of 10 times in a 24-hour period from now through January 8th, so if you’re on winter break (or at the office) and bored, go ahead and mash that vote button.
In 2020 (the game was not held in 2021) there were 11 players per squad (6 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders) for the 3-on-3 games. It’s likely the 2022 version (if it’s not cancelled due to COVID concerns) will have the same sized rosters. In 2020, the Lightning had two representatives (Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy).
Both of those players, along with Steven Stamkos are making strong cases for their inclusion to this season’s squad as well. Vasilevskiy’s main competition is probably Jack Campbell in Toronto and Sergei Bobrovsky in Florida.
The Atlantic’s defense could get crowded pretty quickly and Hedman might be on the outside looking in, especially if the league chooses to go young and have rookie Moritz Seider as the Detroit Red Wings representative or Thomas Chabot as the Ottawa Senators.
We can guarantee at least one of our favorites if we do out part and vote as often as possible for a member of the Lightning (personally I’ll be hammering the vote button for Stamkos as much as possible).
Click here to vote for the Division Captains
Lightning / NHL News
Lightning win in overtime (again) [Raw Charge]
The goaltenders put on a show in Tampa, but Mathieu Joseph’s shot in overtime eluded Jonathan Quick to give the Bolts the victory. With the win the Lightning are up to 40 points but remain two points behind Toronto, who beat Edmonton.
Three Things we learned in the win [NHL.com]
Andrei Vasilevskiy remains pretty good at stopping pucks. Let’s look at that save in overtime one more time.
Ben Bishop was the ‘cornerstone’ for the Lightning [The Athletic]
Joe Smith delves into the importance of Ben Bishop to this organization and how, instead of being cold and aloof to Vasilevskiy, he mentored the young netminder who Bishop knew would one day take his job.
It’s official - because of the knee injury he’s been dealing with over the past few seasons Ben Bishop is retiring. Due to cap hits and recapture penalties he hasn’t officially signed the paperwork, but Bishop is as retired as can be. He spoke to the media about the injury, his career, and thanked all of those who helped him along the way.
Ben Bishop has a lot of amazing thoughts in his press conference today, but this one is a little bit of a gut punch:— Taylor Baird (@taylordbaird) December 14, 2021
"I think there's some satisfaction, but you want to win the Stanley Cup. But I guess I'll have to find a different way to win that now."
Team USA Finalizes World Juniors Roster [SB Nation College Hockey]
Unfortunately for Lightning fans, Declan McDonnell didn’t survive the last round of cuts so it looks like we won’t have any prospects to cheer for in the tournament that kicks off in a few weeks. However, if you’d like to cheer for someone with ties to the area, Sasha Pastujov, who was born in Bradenton, did make the team.
Canes/Wild Game Postponed due to COVID-19 [Canes Country]
The league continues its struggles with the virus and another game will have to reschedule as the Wild and Canes game was postponed due to another four Carolina players testing positive. This is on top of the three players that are already quarantining in Canada after testing positive as well. As the positive rates continue, the future of the NHL players heading to the Olympics becomes murkier.
NHL Players wary of Olympic quarantine rules [Yahoo News]
The players really, really want to play in the Olympics. It was an important part of the last CBA negotiations, and after missing out in 2018, some players in their prime might see this as their last chance [cough, Steven Stamkos, cough]. However, that enthusiasm may be waning a bit as details of stipulations and guidelines in regards to the protocols emerge. One of the biggest deterrents is the possible three-to-five week quarantine should a player test positive. Missing a month of action (not to mention being stuck in a hotel room in China for that long) during a playoff push would be brutal.
Report: League may return to enhanced protocols [Darren Dreger’s Twitter]
With the virus affecting players’ availability and health, it appears the league may return to the enhanced protocols that they operated under last season. As of right now there has been no talk of revising schedules to reduce travel, but that could be on the table if things don’t abate soon.
Rough night for the Rochester Americans