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Lightning Round: Syracuse Crunch sign prospect Shawn Element to AHL contract

Meanwhile Seattle Kraken sign first player in franchise history.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
BOISBRIAND, QC - NOVEMBER 24: Shawn Element #22 of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar celebrates in the first period against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada during the QMJHL game at Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau on November 24, 2017 in Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 5-3.
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

As of the first of May, the Seattle Kraken were officially an NHL franchise. As of yesterday, they have their first player signed to an NHL contract. The Kraken signed Luke Henman to a three-year ELC starting next season (obviously). Henman was the overage captain of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the QMJHL (I see they’re stepping on our turf). GM Ron Francis seems to have had his eye on this player since his former team drafted him in 2018 (after he left), but let his rights expire. Looks like Francis finally got his man.

With the QMJHL heading into the finals of their playoffs, many players from the league are signing contracts in the pros. That includes 21-year-old Shawn Element from the Victoriaville Tigres, who now has a two-year AHL contract with the Syracuse Crunch starting next season.

If you’re wondering whether the Tampa Bay Lightning or Florida Panthers hold any rights to the Crunch’s new prospect, neither do. That said, only the Lightning are signed up as the Crunch’s official affiliate for next season so I’m sure they’re going to keep an eye on him for a potential NHL contract with the blue, white, and black.

The Lightning were also putting pen to paper yesterday, signing 24-year-old forward Simon Ryfors out of Rogle of the SHL. Geo did a full write-up about him and the move on the site, linked below. He’ll be joining the team next season. [Raw Charge]

“The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that they have signed Swedish forward Simon Ryfors to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2021-22 season. Ryfors will turn 24 years old in August and is listed at 5’10” and 181 pounds. Ryfors was never drafted in the NHL Entry Draft, but would have first been eligible for selection in the 2015 draft.”

Looking at the NHL playoffs from an AHL perspective, the parents are fighting. The Lightning and Panthers are battling each other in the first round while all their prospects watch from the same locker room. Meanwhile in Chicago, the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators prospects are watching their parent clubs go at it. There are only three dual affiliations this season, so the odds of this having happened were quite long.

Speaking of the impending series between the Lightning and Panthers, Dom Luszczyszyn has an unlocked look at the match up over at the Athletic. He gives the Lightning an edge with the assumption the team will be perfectly healthy for Game 1. That edge in odds also comes from the Panthers side, who would be in a better position to beat the Lightning if they started Chris Driedger instead of Sergei Bobrovsky, I think he’s right. [The Athletic]

“That’s partly because of the in-state rivalry, but it’s also because Florida and Tampa Bay have been two of the league’s best teams this season, ranking third and ninth, respectively, league-wide (at time of writing). The expectation is for a close, hard-fought series — especially considering how Florida has played of late and how the two teams matched up in the season series. Florida was the better team there.”

Tracey has the final stretch run for the Orlando Solar Bears, who’ve struggled to string wins together and make ground in the standings. [Raw Charge]

“The homestretch of the regular season has begun for the Orlando Solar Bears, as they continue to jockey for position in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference.A long stretch on home ice continued for the team this week, as they welcomed Greenville for three games, hoping to improve their playoff position. Although Orlando managed to snag three out a possible six points this week, they still find themselves in the middle of the pack...but in a playoff spot.”

Chicago’s NHL team is being sued for damaged caused by ignoring one of their former player’s allegations of sexual assault, including the team therapist it was his fault for being the victim and not firing the coach that has since become a registered sex offender in Michigan.

“The lawsuit filed late last week in Cook County Circuit Court was brought by a player identified only as “John Doe” and accuses the team of ignoring his claims against the assistant coach, who went on to be convicted of a sex crime involving a student in Michigan and is now a registered sex offender in that state.”

Team Canada have announced their camp roster for the 2022 Olympics, and it includes some very surprising omissions.

There was a vague report late last night stating the NHL “would be inclined to participate” in a Women’s Hockey League if the PWHPA and NWHL could come together. They’ve hinted at this before without anything changing so I don’t really know what they’re trying to do here other than to sound like rich saviors. We’ll see what reporting comes out of this.

The New York Rangers have fired head coach David Quinn as well as his assistants. This comes after both the GM and President were fired before the end of the season.