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Lightning Round: Notes from another day of training camp

The NHL introduced new cross-checking rules

2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s training camp officially started on Thursday. Yesterday Justin took a very early look at the Lightning’s roster for the upcoming season. The speculations about how the team will look will accompany us until the opening game, so let’s focus on other notes from the opening days of the training camp.

With departure of Yanni Gourde, Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman, the Lightning lost not only their entire third line, but also one of their biggest penalty kill specialists. Last season Goodrow led all the Lightning’s forwards with the most time spent on penalty kill with 2:26 per game, while Coleman was very close at the second place with 2:13. In their absence, Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn will probably take more responsibility on the penalty kill, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who was third in penalty kill TOI on the Colorado Avalanche roster, is also expected to receive a pretty big shorthanded workload. Both Ross Colton and Mathieu Joseph will be utilised on penalty kill, too. According to coach Jon Cooper, the team will also rely on Bellemare’s face-off abilities.

After missing first two days of the training camp due to non-Covid related illness, both Pat Maroon and Zach Bogosian are expected to join the team on Saturday, but as Jon Cooper joked, it’s up to them when they’ll be on the ice. Another Lightning’s injured player Cal Foote has skated separately after the practice, wearing a non-contact jerseys.

Swedish goalie prospect Hugo Alnefelt has been attached to Andrei Vasilevskiy during the camp and has a chance to learn from his “idol“. Alnefelt had an underwhelming prospect tournament, but will have a chance to bounce back during the camp and preseason games.

Meanwhile newly-acquired backup goaltender Brian Elliott is excited to join the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, mentioning that several Lightning players reached out to him after he signed a deal with the team during his first availability with local media on Friday.

Jon Cooper also followed up on Julien BriseBois’ words about Vasilevskiy’s workload in the upcoming season, saying that the team don’t want to burn him out. [NHL.com]

“We’re aware that we’re not going to burn him out and we’ll play him like we normally do,” Cooper said. “You get in that 60-game range (of an 82-game regular season), I don’t think that’s an excessive amount. But, I’m not sitting here saying he’s going to play 60 games. He may play less than that, he may play more than that. It just will dictate on how the schedule plays out, regarding how back-to-backs come into play and stuff like that. You’ve seen the way we’ve played him in the past, we’ve left him home on trips when it’s coming down the stretch.

“Trust me, the last thing we’re going to do is burn him out.”

Cooper also praised Taylor Raddysh development, mentioning that he wished he had gotten him ice time last season. The Lightning’s prospect was called up to the taxi squad several times during the previous season, but hasn’t made an NHL debut yet.

Here’s the lines from yesterday’s scrimmage:

The Lightning will play their first preseason game on Wednesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Lightning Links

Taylor Raddysh ended up at number 9 on our Top 25 Under 25 list [Raw Charge]

Heading into this season, Raddysh has made a strong case for himself to make the Tampa Bay Lightning full-time. These next couple weeks during training camp will be the make-or-break for Raddysh, who now has to pass through waivers in order to play for the Crunch. It’s not a foregone conclusion that if he is placed on waivers that he’ll be claimed — he hasn’t played an NHL game after all — but in terms of his professional timeline, he needs to win a job if he’s going to be a real player.

Hockey News

The NHL has introduced more strict cross-checking rules for the upcoming season

NHL teams will be allowed to sell the ad space on their jerseys during the 2022-23 season. The Washington Capitals became the first team to sign a deal. Here’s a first look at how it will look:

This is a media day video by the Seattle Kraken with a familiar face: