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Lightning Round: Yes, yes he is

The answer to this question is quite easy

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2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four

I saw this going around and thought about putting it in yesterday’s links, but figured it was too obvious of an answer to worry about.

The answer is simple - yes. Yes he is a hall of famer. If Victor Hedman walked away today to go sit in the Plymouth Argyles owner’s box for the rest of his life, he has already done enough to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The accolades speak for themselves and then you add in 603 points (134 goals, 359 assists) as a defenseman and you have one of the best players of his generation.

Among active defensemen the 603 points ranks him 8th with all of the players except Erik Karlsson having played at 40 more games games then he has. He’s likely to move into the top six at some point this season with a chance to catch Duncan Keith (646) for fifth.

There is still a pretty big window for him to win another Norris (he’s been a finalist for the last five seasons) and another Stanley Cup. He’s coming off his best offensive season with 85 points (20 goals, 65 assists) and he’s just 31 years-old.

So, thank you for the question NHL, but it’s a really easy answer.

Lightning / NHL News

Victor Hedman Q&A [The Athletic]

Could we see a better version of Hedman this year? Goodness that would be fun.

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect pipeline ranking: 31st [The Athletic]

Corey Proman drops the Lightning a spot from last season, but that’s understandable with a lot of their prospects aging out of his demographic (Pronman sets his age limit at 23). The good news is that he is pretty excited about Isaac Howard. He also names Niko Huuhtanen as an “intriguing pro prospect”.

New York Islanders sign three restricted free agents [Lighthouse Hockey]

Since they didn’t sign Nazem Kadri the Islanders had a little bit of cash left in the bank. So they spent a little yesterday as they signed Noah Dobson, Alex Romanov, and Kieffer Bellows to new contracts.

‘This is huge.’ Nazem Kadri bringing Stanley Cup to London Muslim Mosque this weekend [The Toronto Star]

For the first time in its known history, the Stanley Cup will be visiting a mosque when Kadri spends his day with it in London, Ontario.

Ryan Ellis could miss start of the season, Tortorella says []

Ellis was supposed to be the anchor for the Philadelphia Flyers that would help them contend in the Metropolitan Division. They sent Nolan Patrick and Philippe Myers (hey, we know that guy!) to Nashville for Ellis just over a year ago and things have not gone well. He only appeared in 4 games last season and now it seems the start of his 2022-23 season is in jeopardy due to a “multi-layered” lower-body injury.

Top 3 landing spots for Paul Stastny [The Hockey News]

He may not be the player he was when he was younger, but Stastny is a veteran forward who could provide a team with a little depth. Last season with the Winnipeg Jets he scored 21 goals, eclipsing the 20 goal mark for the first time since 2013-14. THN lists the Colorado Avalanche, Montreal Canadiens, and the Detroit Red Wings as three potential landing spots for the 16-year veteran.