Good morning, everyone, it’s your old buddy (and editor of this site) Justin. With the Lightning having wrapped up most of their offseason business already (except for that one, lingering restricted free agent) I figured it’s a good time to let y’all know what to expect over the next couple of months as news in the NHL slows down a bit.
First of all, we’re still here to cover any breaking news. So once Ross Colton signs that new deal, we’ll be here to report. The same goes for any thing else that happens with the team. So if Julien BriseBois goes crazy and makes some wacky deal because he’s bored, then we’ll be around to report it.
We’ll also have some player grades for the past season. GeoFitz is working diligently on them as we speak. While it would be easy to assign everyone an “A” because, well, they did just win the Stanley Cup, we used that as an excuse last season.
Later this month we’ll start the process for determining the Top 25 Under 25 players in the Lightning organization. It’s an annual tradition like no other and you’ll have the opportunity to participate as well. As Brayden Point has aged out (he turned 25 in March) there will be a new number one this season. It’ll be interesting to see where some of the new prospects line up (or if they crack the list at all).
We will keep the Lightning Round going on a daily basis, but it will post a little later in the day (9:00 AM instead of 7:00 AM) as we highlight news from around the league and showcase some writing from other SB Nation websites.
If there is ever anything you’d like us to tackle, feel free to reach out (contact info in our masthead). Enjoy the rest of the summer, hockey will be back before you know it!
Lightning and Hockey Links
I’m not sure there is anyone enjoying this Stanley Cup more than Ryan McDonagh. First it was the second boat parade, and now a grand entrance for the silver chalice.
After a little doubt about whether or not he would play in the Windy City next season, Marc-Andre Fleury confirmed that he is going to suit up for the Chicago hockey team in 2021-22.
He even has a jersey ready to go:
In case you were wondering Madison Bowey was the last Chicago player to wear the number 29. Former Lightning head coach Steve Ludzik also wore it during his days with the club back in the late 1980s.
Speaking of Chicago, President of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman informed the media that the organization will release the results of the internal investigation into the alleged sexual abuse case involving a former assistant coach.
The results of the investigation could have repercussions for the US Olympic hockey team as Bowman is currently the general manager for the team for the 2022 games in Beijing. It is possible that, depending on the findings, US Hockey could ask him to abdicate that position.
Meanwhile, the NHL was unable to secure any expanded media rights for the 2022 games. So, as in the past, if the NHL does allow their players to go to China, the league won’t have any access to highlights from the games. It sounds like the International Olympic Committee is standing firm to their past practices in not allowing professional leagues to use Olympic highlights in their marketing.