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Lightning Round: Buffalo and Washington announce front office hires

A buffalo munches on some grass alongside the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. Tree lined mountains and a cloud-filled blue sky make up the background.
Photo by Justin Godfrey

A couple of teams got around to pulling their help wanted ads off of ZipRecruiter as the Washington Capitals named Brian MacLellan president of hockey relations (he will remain general manager as well) while the Buffalo Sabres appointed Terry Pegula as the team president (he will remain the owner as well). Along with giving himself the title of team president, Pegula also dissolved Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the entity that ran both the Sabres and Buffalo Bills, allowing “each respective organization to focus singularly on their efforts”. It is also worth noting that Kim Pegula, Terry’s wife, had been the team’s president prior to battling the effects of a cardiac arrest in 2022.

As for the Capitals, MacLellan has been the general manager of the team since 2014 and has worked for the team since 2000. Chris Patrick, was promoted to associate general manager while Dick Patrick (Chris’ father), who was the team’s president and is a part owner, moved to a more advisory role as chairman.

Congratulations to everyone updating their resumes.

Lightning / NHL News

State of the Crease: Lightning goaltending depth [Raw Charge]

It’s a good thing Andrei Vasilevskiy is good at hockey (see below) because there isn’t much in the cupboard after him.

Andrei Vasilevskiy is number one [NHL Network Twitter]

Once again, and I can’t stress this enough, these lists are wildly arbitrary and designed to generate debate. Still, it’s always nice to see a member of the Lightning on top.

Luke Glendening Ask Me Anything [Lightning Twitter]

We find out his favorite childhood player, candy, and teammate (honestly, he punted that question).

Ranking the best NHL players and prospects under 23 [The Athletic]

It took some scrolling, but we did spy a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect on the list. Ethan Gauthier debuted on the list at #141, so there is plenty of room for him to move up next year. Love this note from the write up, “He is quite physical and can be a nasty player to play against, which you love to see from a smaller player. Gauthier gets to the net and can create chances there frequently”.

Speaking of prospects, it’s nice to see a couple of Syracuse Crunch players on this list:

32-in-32 Prospects: Tampa Bay Lightning [Dobber Prospects]

Interesting that they had Isaac Howard as a “riser” considering his rough year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Jeff Vinik spends some money [Dallas Morning News]

I might be a little biased, but if you’re going to spend $64 million on a mountain retreat, it should be in Utah, home of the greatest on earth (it says so right on the license plate). Instead the Viniks bought a place in Aspen, Colorado. With 15,000 square feet he should have plenty of room to store a few more Stanley Cups.

Lightning add two to hockey administration team [Around the Horn Hockey]

Erika Ambrioso and Blaine Green have been hired as Statistical Analysts, bringing the total to three according to their staff page.

Orlando Solar Bears sign two players [Orlando Solar Bears]

The Lightning’s ECHL affiliate added two players to contracts – forward Jay Jerome and defenseman Jake Stevens. Both played in the ECHL last year, Jerome with the Trois-Rivieres Lions and Stevens with the Iowa Heartlanders.

Carolina signs two to PTO’s [NHL.com]

Death, Taxes, Conacher, (and Carolina BBQ?) Old friend Cory Conacher signed a PTO with the Hurricanes and will be part of their training camp next month.

Daley, Kessel embrace new roles with Penguins [NHL.com]

Adding a two-time Stanley Cup winner and one of the best players in the sport of hockey to your staff is never a bad thing. Trevor Daley and Amanda Kessel talk about their new roles with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Getting to know Daria Tsymyrenko [The Ice Garden]

Our friends over at The Ice Garden had a nice interview with Daria Tsymrenko, the 20 year-old captain of the Ukrainian women’s hockey team.

Lone Wolves: How did it comes to this? [Inside the AHL]

The story of how the relationship between the Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Wolves splintered, as told from the point of view from former Lightning goaltender (current Wolves’ GM) Wendell Young. It’s a good look at how difficult to balance the development of prospects and the need to win in order to pay the bills as an AHL franchise.

The details for a new women’s professional hockey league will be announced at a press conference later today. It is possible that the location of the six franchises has already been revealed.

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