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Lightning Round: Welcome to the offseason

a pair of sunglasses sits on a sandy beach with a clear blue sky in the background.
Photo by Ethan Robertson via Unspash

Alright. We’ve officially hit the offseason for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sadly, it came in April instead of June, and there are way too many teams still playing, but that’s the world we’re in. For the second straight summer, the players are going to get plenty of rest. The good news is that we can stop paying for a Sling subscription for the next few months and everyone has more time to read a book or learn to program.

Things will probably be quiet for the next couple of weeks with the Lightning as the rest of the league does the whole playoff thing, but it’s definitely going to be an interesting next few months once things ramp up. When the team comes back for training camp in September it’s going to look a little different, even if Steven Stamkos re-signs with them.

Of course, the Stamkos negotiations will loom large over everything for the foreseeable future, unless Julien BriseBois has some unexpected news when he talks to the media later today. In addition to his contract drama, Mr. BriseBois will also have to figure out how to improve the depth of the team that might be in danger of sliding down the power rankings in the Eastern Conference.

The Syracuse Crunch and Orlando Solar Bears (congrats on the first round win) are still alive in their playoffs, so we’ll keep an eye on them as well. Syracuse received some reinforcements yesterday as Matt Tomkins, Max Crozier, and Emil Lilleberg were reassigned to the AHL franchise. Chances are there will be a trickle down effect for Orlando as well now that the Crunch have a full compliment on defense again.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be reviewing the season. Yes, it was so much fun we want to go over it in painstaking detail all over again. How we do that, well, plans are still being crafted. Things will start with a breakdown of Coach Cooper and Mr. BriseBois’ pressers tomorrow and then we’ll go from there.

We’ll keep you posted on the rest of the league’s shenanigans and prepare for the draft and free agency. In August the always popular Top 25 Under 25 will be back as well.

Thank you to everyone who followed us throughout the season. We know things have been a little hectic in regards to the site, but things seem to have stabilized a bit for now.

Other Hockey News

For the Lightning, it’s going to get worse before it gets better [The Athletic]

Mark Lazerus, who has covered the death of a dynasty in his time, gives Lightning fans a taste of what could possibly be in the future based on what the Blackhawks, Kings, and Penguins have been through in the cap era.

Bolts leaning on Stamkos’ leadership role [NHL.com]

Yes, this was written before Game Five, but it was a great breakdown of Steven Stamkos and his role as the team’s leader throughout his career.

Coach Cooper’s Post Game Interview [Tampa Bay Lightning]

Coach Cooper didn’t make Mr. BriseBois’ job any easier when it comes to negotiating with Stamkos as heaped praise on his captain following the 6-1 loss. He also used an unfortunate reference to goalies “wearing skirts” while sharing his thoughts on goaltender interference.

TJ Oshie will step away from the game if he can’t find a fix to reoccurring back problems [RMNB]

The 37-year-old admits he’s not sure if his back will hold up for another season. He shared some of the things he’s been through recently (including being “literally on the floor peeing in bottles” when his back issues flare up). He also confirmed that he played with a broken hand that he suffered in Game 3 on a hit from Matt Rempe.

Auston Matthews out for Game 5 [ESPN]

The league’s leading goal-scorer has struggled with an injury or illness all postseason, to the point that he wasn’t able to suit up for a win-or-go-home Game 5. He was on the ice for about 10 minutes during the morning skate, but left the ice before full session got going.

Finalists for Calder Trophy announced [NHL Media]

Brock Faber and Luke Hughes have the honor of being the answer to the question, “Who were the other Calder finalists when Connor Bedard was named rookie of the year?” Sadly, Emil Lilleberg did not make the top three.

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