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Lightning Round: The adventures of the Stanley Cup in Russia

The Stanley Cup went on little trip in Russia

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2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

As we already reported earlier this week, the Stanley Cup has finally made it to Russia. The Russian players of the Tampa Bay Lightning were the last ones to have an opportunity to bring it to their hometown. Apparently, the Stanley Cup’s visit to Russia was very questionable, because the NHL was very worried about the epidemic situation in the country, but eventually they allowed it after an undisclosed Russian player sent a letter to the league.

The Stanley Cup spent five days in Russia and went on a road trip – from Moscow to Nizhnekamsk and Ufa. Nikita Kucherov brought the Cup to his junior school in Moscow, where his hockey career started.

Mikhail Sergachev also didn’t forget about his roots, bringing the Stanley Cup to his school. On the same day later, he visited a KHL game between the local team HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk and HC Sibir.

Yesterday Andrei Vasilevskiy visited the ice stadium of HC Salavat Ulaev, where the Russian goaltender made his first steps in professional hockey. It was also the first time that the Conn Smythe Trophy was brought to Russia.

Alex Volkov, who played just one game during the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs and which also happened to be a Stanley Cup clinching game, also got an opportunity to spend the day with the trophy.

In other news yesterday we continued our Top 25 Under 25 series with position number 19 and Finnish center Otto Somppi [Raw Charge]

As we get closer to training camp, we’ll see what kind of role Somppi will play in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch. With the possibility of at least one of Taylor Raddysh or Boris Katchouk making the Lightning’s roster, that opens up a spot in the top six. On the other hand, the Lightning have brought in Gabriel Dumont, Remi Elie, and Charles Hudon as veteran forwards for the Crunch. Dumont has experience playing at center, and could end up as the Crunch’s #1 center, but Elie and Hudon are both wingers. Somppi is likely to end up as the #2 center for the Crunch and could get some more power play time after recording four points on the power play last season.

The film about the 2021 Stanley Cup run will be presented next week in the Tampa Theatre with special guests Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn.

A story about Simon Ryfors – one of the recent signings by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also ended up at 21st position at our Top 25 Under 25 list [The Athletic, paid content]

But there are wild cards like Ryfors who could put themselves in a position to be a surprise addition. From talking to Rogle teammates and coaches, the two-way center boasts a lot of the qualities the Lightning like in their players. He’s got the competitive drive, having worked his way up in Rogle from an 18-year-old rookie fourth liner to one of the league’s top scorers. He’s got creativity, even scoring on Nikita Kucherov’s ‘no shot’ shootout move during a game.