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Lightning Round: former off-ice officials in Tampa sue NHL, allege they were fired for reporting racist coworker

And Steve Yzerman brings an old friend into the Detroit front office

Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning, 2018 NHL Eastern Conference Finals
Hockey: NHL Playoffs: Tampa Bay Lightning Braydon Coburn (55) in penalty box during game vs Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. Game 6. Washington DC 5/21/2018
Set Number: X161931 TK1

Rick Westhead is reporting a lawsuit against the NHL where two former off-ice officials who worked games in Tampa are alleging they were fired for calling out racist coworker, Pat DeLorenzo Jr. That racism was in the form of comments directed at Tampa Bay Lightning anthem singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey, as well as racist slurs on Black hockey players. [TSN]

““DeLorenzo made negative racial comments about [NHL] employees, including but not limited to [NHL]’s African-American hockey players and the African-American veteran, Sonya Bryson-Kirksey, who sings the national anthem at Tampa Bay Lightning games at Amalie Arena,” the lawsuit alleges.”

The suit also claims that a female off-ice official was fired by the NHL in another city for reporting sexual harassment at work.

The Detroit Red Wings have signed the greatest defenseman of all time — again. Nicklas Lidstrom is back with the team he spent his whole career with as VP of Hockey Operations. He was a scout with the team for a while before the team got its long overdue franchise overhaul.

A lot of people are now wondering if the third member of the Big Three, Brendan Shanahan, is ever going to leave Toronto to join his old friends. I’m usually not a fan of old hockey players teaming up in the front office, but Yzerman and Shanahan are both highly accomplished executives. Yzerman as a championship-winning team builder, and Shanahan as both the best head of the Department of Player Safety in my lifetime and President of the Maple Leafs, who are in a lot better of a position now than they were when he arrived. I don’t have much on Lidstrom since he’s only ever run a defense group, not a front office.

In Lightning news, they beat the Buffalo Sabres 6-1, with Nikita Kucherov scoring a hat trick on both goalies. Stamkos and Killorn both had three-point nights as well. [Raw Charge]

“Andrei Vasilevskiy ran his career record to 12-1-1 against the Sabres as he made 17 saves on 18 shots with only Vinnie Hinostroza’s power play goal eluding him. Along with Kucherov’s three goals, Stamkos scored his 17th of the season, Anthony Cirelli scored, and Ondrej Palat continued his hot streak as he scored his 15th of the season. Unfortunately, Palat left the game in the second period for undisclosed reasons.”

For the record, Palat was kept off the ice in the third period as a precaution as the Lightning are managing things with him and to be quite honest, they didn’t need him to close out that game.

The Syracuse Crunch got Remi Elie back as well, as Colton returned to the lineup having gotten through his infectious period.

Rumors had been swirling all day about where Evander Kane would end up after getting his contract terminated by the San Jose Sharks. Kane has faced accusations of domestic violence, betting on hockey games, falsifying a vaccine certificate, and travelling across borders while in COVID protocol. That last one was finally grounds for San Jose to terminate the contract.

The Sharks players and staff have been saying outright how much of a distraction, headache, and pain Kane was off the ice in the locker room, where he brought his domestic, legal, and health troubles to. Despite that, “many teams” have reportedly inquired about him, including the Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Circling back to the Oilers, GM Ken Holland had a press conference to “just answer questions” after getting a lot of requests during the team’s losing streak. The Oilers have fallen from second in the weak Pacific Division all the way down to sixth and out of the playoffs. Seriously, they’re only one point in front of the Vancouver Canucks at this point. Here’s how he answered one particular question.

With this guy in charge and Kane possibly walking in the room, how bad do you think things could fall apart in Edmonton? So much so that they lose Connor McDavid? Reports are that he gave Holland and the Oilers two years from Holland’s hiring before he implements some ultimatum, which is probably a trade request.

There’s a lot of drama going on in Philadelphia right now.

And lastly, the Anaheim Ducks claim Lukas Elvenes, who was on the verge of terminating his contract with the Vegas Golden Knights after spending a couple seasons in the AHL. He now heads to Anaheim with a new lease on his NHL career. I guess the Ducks liked what they saw in the AHL and his time on Rogle in the SHL and the Men’s World Juniors with some of Anaheim’s prospects. He’s 22 and a former fifth round pick.