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Lightning Round: Gabriel Dumont named AHL All-Star Captain

Syracuse Crunch captain Gabriel Dumont will be wearing the “C” at the AHL All-Star Game in Laval next month. On Wednesday Dumont and Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Brian Lashoff (who was briefly a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization) were named captains for the 2023 All-Star Classic presented by Bell in collaboration with Manulife Bank that will be held February 5-6.

For Dumont it will be a bit of a homecoming as he was originally drafted by the Montreal Canadians and spent his first six seasons, although their AHL affiliate was in Hamilton and St. John’s, not Laval, at the time. He’s been with the Crunch over the last two years, serving as their captain, and has put up 35 goals and 36 assists in the 90 games over that time. It’s his second stint with the organization as he was with the Crunch and Lightning from 2016 to 2019 (except for a 23-game stretch with Ottawa in 2017-18) when they claimed him on waivers.

Dumont is the quintessential leader on the ice and has been a tremendous asset for Coach Ben Groulx and his coaching staff when it comes to teaching young players the right way to be a professional. He isn’t just a voice in the locker room though, over 644 AHL games he’s put up 394 points (172 goals, 222 assists) including a 30-goal season last year for Syracuse. Along with Hamilton/St. John’s and Syracuse he’s played for the Iowa Wild.

Throughout his career he has appeared in 90 NHL games over parts of 7 seasons, recording 4 goals and 5 assists (along with 48 penalty minutes). In 2016-17 he saw the most NHL action, playing in 39 games for the Lightning while scoring 2 goals and adding 2 assists.

He is a through-and-through agitator who is never afraid to finish his checks or throw an extra shove in after a whistle. Dumont is the prototypical “hate playing against him but would love to have him on my team” player that has earned the trust of Coach Groulx by doing whatever has been asked of him. This is the second All-Star Classic that he will be a part of.

As for Lashoff, the 32-year-old blueliner has spent his entire career in the Detroit Red Wings organization, playing mostly for the Griffins. Lightning fans may remember him as being part of the David Savard trade. Technically the Red Wings traded him to Columbus for Savard. Columbus then flipped him to Tampa for a 1st and 3rd round pick while Detroit sent Savard to Tampa for a 4th round pick. However, he never suited up for either the Bolts or the Crunch as the organization loaned him to Grand Rapids for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

Congratulations to both gentlemen.

Lightning / NHL News

Lightning overwhelmed by Wild [Raw Charge]

It was going to be a tough game to begin with. It became even tougher without Andrei Vasilevskiy. Throw this one in the bin and move on to Winnipeg.

Vasilevskiy scratched due to illness [Raw Charge]

Brian Elliott got the last minute call to start the back-to-back. We’ll have to wait another season for Vasy to pick up his first win in Minnesota.

Three things learned in the loss to the Wild [Tampa Bay Times]

Kirill Kaprizov is good. And he’s fun to watch.

Jake DeBrusk out with fractured fibula [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

Could this be the bump in the road that slows down the Bruins freight train?

Vrana clears waivers [NHL.com]

The gamble by Mr. Yzerman worked out as Jakub Vrana cleared waivers and was assigned to Grand Rapids where he will work his way back into shape for the NHL. Robby Fabbri was activated from injured reserve in a corresponding move.

Max Pacioretty activated from injured reserve [Canes Country]

Did you forget that Pacioretty had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in the offseason? It appears that it is almost time for him to make his Carolina debut after a long rehab from a torn Achilles tendon. It’s not all good news for the Canes as Ondrej Kase was placed on LTIR. Honestly, I didn’t know he was with them either.

Rangers extend Jimmy Vesey for two seasons [Blue Shirt Banter]

The well-traveled forward seems to have finally found a home on Broadway. And he’s done it by being one of the best defensive forwards in the league. His two-year extension will average $800,000 a season.

NHL increases fan input on All-Star Game selections [ESPN]

This season, the NHL will open voting Thursday for fans to select 12 players — two skaters and one goalie from each division — to complete the 44-man roster for the All-Star Skills and All-Star Game. Striving for global inclusivity, the online platform will be available in eight languages.

The league will combine the traditional online vote with data it collects from Twitter. Every time a person tweets a player’s name or handle with the #NHLAllStarVote it will be counted, as will retweets, replies or quote tweets.

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