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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay make two trades on a Tuesday

And walking into the break with an OT win

NHL: OCT 02 Lightning at Predators
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 02: Tampa Bay forward Jimmy Huntington (47) defends against Nashville Predators defenseman Alexandre Carrier (45) during the NHL preseason game between the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning, held on October 2, 2021, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning organization lade two trades yesterday, sending out two players with relatively long histories with the club for some fresh faces. Considering these two trades were for players with the same positions and will play in the same minor leagues. So let’s have a look at who’s left and who’s coming in.

Heading out of the organization are alexey Lipanov and Jimmy Huntington. Lipanov, 22, was a center drafted in the third round by the Lightning in 2017. He was taken third behind Cal Foote and Alexander Volkov, all of whom have had varying degrees of missing expectations. I wasn’t a fan of the team’s underwhelming draft that year and this is one of the many results of that. Lipanov developed in the OHL, but couldn’t stick around in the AHL for more than five games across two years. He had 17 points in 45 ECHL games with the Orlando Solar Bears. He heads to the Dallas Stars organization.

Jimmy Huntington, 23, was an undrafted free agent by the Lightning after a strong QMJHL career. He was a regular in the Syracuse Crunch lineup and a dependable bottom six, checking forward. He played a bigger role on occasion, and looked reasonably good, but he couldn’t justify the role due to a lack of points. He now goes to the Nashville Predators organization where he might have a path forwards.

Going the other way in the Lipanov trade is forward Tye Felhaber, 23, who’s going to report to the Solar Bears. He had a good OHL career, including scoring over 100 points in his overage season. Unfortunately, he’s only been able to muster eight AHL goals across two and a half seasons with the Texas Stars.

For Huntington, the Crunch get forward Anthony Richard, 25, who was a fourth round pick in 2015 by the Predators. Richard is probably the best player of the four, playing six seasons in the AHL and having two NHL games under his belt as well. Before the pandemic in 2019, Richard led the Milwaukee Admirals in scoring, so he has the ability to be a difference-maker. We’ll see what he can do.

The Lightning didn’t open up any roster spots with these trades, as all four players were on NHL contracts and in the minors. I think these trades just came down to two players needing fresh starts, and two guys the Crunch can try out to see what’s there.

Lightning Links

Victor Hedman sent the Bolts into the All Star break with an overtime win over the San Jose Sharks on Monday. Here is our recap. [Raw Charge]

Victor Hedman hit the post again in overtime. Only this time it hit the post and went in. As The Big Swede slowly drifted in the zone, Cirelli cut through the middle of the ice to open up a bit of a gap and Hedman just flicked a shot in the opening that went over Reimer’s glove, off the bar and in for the win.

Here are Bryan Burns’ Three Things from the win, including the focus heading into a light month of games. [NHL dot com]

After that, the Lightning’s schedule is pretty sporadic. They’ll make up the three games they had postponed due to COVID concerns, wrapping up that trio of contests February 15 in New Jersey. Then they’ll have another five days completely off before returning to practice February 21. The Bolts have a home contest against Edmonton coming out of their second mini-break on February 23 before traveling to Nashville for the Stadium Series game against the Predators at Nissan Stadium on the 26th.

Tracey has the Solar Bears Den for this week, including the Battle of the Bears. [Raw Charge]

To fill Miftakhov’s spot on the roster, the team picked up goaltender Bailey Brkin off waivers from Rapid City to backup Brad Barone. Brkin is in his first pro season after spending 2019-20 with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL, appearing in 31 games with a 17-8-3 mark and a 3.37 GAA. He will be joining his third ECHL team, after appearing in 4 games with Fort Wayne and 3 with the Rush.

There’s a developing story out of Michigan where the university hockey program is under investigation for the treatment of female support starr, specifically “Title IX violations, workplace culture complaints and COVID-19 misconduct.” [Michigan Daily]

The No. 3 Michigan hockey team is under investigation for a combination of Title IX violations, workplace culture complaints and COVID-19 misconduct.

Specifically, the investigation by law firm WilmerHale involves accusations that Michigan coach Mel Pearson allegedly told players to lie on COVID-19 contact tracing forms before the 2021 NCAA Tournament, that Pearson and director of hockey operations Rick Bancroft allegedly created a toxic work environment for female staff and that Pearson allegedly retaliated against a player for voicing issues within the Wolverines’ program.

Michigan’s Title IX investigation against the Michigan hockey team involves the treatment of female support staff. A source close to The Daily, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of professional retaliation, alleges they were told that women have been denied access to team locker rooms in order to perform work duties under Pearson’s tenure.

And lastly, deja vu for the Buffalo Sabres after the Jack Eichel fallout. Maybe he was right?