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Lightning Round: The prospect rankings are out

...and they’re not great. Two Stanley Cups are pretty nifty, though.

NHL: SEP 22 Preseason - Predators at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There is nothing really new to report about the Tampa Bay Lightning so let’s just dive into news from around the sport as everyone waits for Montreal to decide if they want to match the Carolina contract for Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

Lightning / NHL News

Corey Pronman has begun to release his annual “Why does Corey Pronman hate my team’s prospects” series over at The Athletic. Okay, that’s not what it’s called. Rather he ranks the organizations by their best under-23 players to give fans an idea of the future of the team. It’s not really surprising that he has the Bolts ranked 30th in the league. That’s what happens when you exchange high draft picks and prospects for the players you need to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. [The Athletic - subscription required]

Offseason power ranking time. This time it’s teams ranked by the amount of pressure on their head coach to win - a.k.a. - The Hot Seat Rankings. Good news is that Jon Cooper isn’t going anywhere. [Coaching hot seat tiers for the 2021-22 season]

Sean Couturier signed a contract extension that will make him a very rich person. The thing is, he probably could have stuck it out and signed a deal that would make him even wealthier. Instead he, in his own words, “left money on the table”. The eight-year, $62 million deal was a good one, but the 28-year-old center probably could have tacked a few million more to the deal had he wanted to. Instead, he gave the Philadelphia Flyers a little leeway in regards to the cap as they try and build a Stanley Cup-relevant team. [Couturier ‘didn’t want to break the’ with eight-year deal]

The NHL is finally coming to Hamilton, Ontario! No, Jim Balsillie isn’t buying the Coyotes and moving them to Hamilton (that’s right, a 2009 era reference). Instead, there are rumors that the league is planning an outdoor game, The Heritage Classic, at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs at some point next season. It would be the third outdoor game scheduled for next season, joining the Winter Classic (Blues/Wild) and the Stadium Seris (Lightning/Predators). [Report: Leafs-Sabres outdoor game in the works for Hamilton]

Eve Gascon was invited to the Gatineau Olympiques training camp this summer and put on a pretty good show. The 18-year-old netminder participated in a rookie game along with two scrimmages for the QMJHL squad (and Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx’s old stomping grounds). In those appearances she posted a 3.08 goals against and .889 save percentage on 78 shots. On Monday, she was one of the team’s final cuts from camp and will now head to Minnesota to play with University of Minnesota-Deluth women’s hockey squad. [Fin de l’adventure Gascon chez les Olympiques]

Speaking of Canadian goaltenders, Ann-Renee Desbiens posted a shutout over Switzerland as the Canadian women’s team advanced to the gold medal games against the USA with a 4-0 victory. The showdown for the IIHF Women’s World Championship will be broadcast today at 7:30 pm on the NHL Network. [Canada shuts down Switzerland, 4-0]

It’s looking like the NHL, IOC, and IIHF are close to an agreement that would allow NHL players to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics. It was first reported by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that a decision would be made by next week. The players, coaches, and supporting staff would likely need to be vaccinated in order to go, and insurance is always an issue (not just in COVID-related years), but those details seem to be close to ironed out. It would be good for the sport, the players, and the league if the best players in the world participated in the tournament. [NHL Olympic participation would be good for everyone]