Quick Strikes: A new round of Erik Karlsson trade rumors

Our favorite all-star pirate is back in the rumor mill

The Bolts:

At The Athletic (paywalled), Joe Smith talked with Andrei Vasilevskiy about his workload last season and how he feels preparing for a new season.

“Now I know how I feel after 60 games in the regular season,” Vasilevskiy said. “I know I can play that 60 games plus playoffs. There’s definitely a lot of things I need to improve on. It’s about experience and I’ll be better in the future.”

In the article, goalie coach Franz Jean says that he thinks starting 55-65 games is the ideal spot for an NHL goaltender. That’s a little higher than most teams with goalies typically playing in the 50-55 game range these days. With Louis Domingue on board for a full season this year, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff adjusts their usage of Vasilevskiy or if they push him to the sixty game threshold again.

In our continuing “Things We Want to See Next Season” series, Matt wrote about Brayden Point. The Bolts’ latest emerging star is 15-20 more power play points away from breaking into the national conversation and giving the Lightning another forward who ranks among the best in the league.

Now, after reading all of that, why do I want to see Brayden Point emerge as a star this season? Arguably, he’s already one, especially in the eyes of the Lightning faithful. Well, in order to be a star in the NHL, one has to consistently be among the best in the league. It took three seasons for Nikita Kucherov to get the respect he deserved in the NHL.

With Point, another season where he puts up 45+ 5v5 points, jumps up in power play scoring, shuts down the top offensive threats of the opposing team, and continues his propensity for clutch goals will make it hard for anyone outside of Tampa Bay to argue he isn’t a star in the NHL.

The Lightning are hosting their second-annual sled hockey boot camp. According to the press release from the team:

The Lightning’s second-annual Lightning Sled Hockey Boot Camp is being held at Clearwater Ice Arena this weekend and features on-ice instruction from U.S. Gold Medalists. The three-day camp kicks off on Friday morning and will include on-ice coaching, physical fitness in the gym and a classroom video session each day....Each day the campers will have three hours of ice time, one hour of off-ice conditioning and 30 minutes of classroom mentoring where they can talk to the Paralympians and ask questions.

The Lightning’s continued work with sled hockey is a great embodiment of “hockey is for everyone.”

Nikita Kucherov donated some hockey gear to his former coach.

Manny Perry, one of hockey’s best public analysts, released his preliminary 2018-2019 team points projections. The top two teams in his projection are both in the Atlantic division. The Bruins are projected in the top spot with the Lightning in second.

Mikhail Sergachev was running through a public park pulling a tire?

The Prospects

All of our prospects are safely tucked away for the summer. [Sorry, no news out of Syracuse or Orlando today]

The Game

Yep, it’s round 17,000,000 of the Erik Karlsson rumor saga. Things flared up today when Elliotte Friedman reported that trade talks picked up again and Vancouver of all teams was interested. Darren Dreger later confirmed that trade talks were gaining steam.

Later in the day, John Shannon said that Vancouver denied being involved in the Karlsson trade talks.

At this point, I’m burnt out on these rumors. My completely uninformed opinion is that the Ottawa front office keeps secrets about as well as a middle schooler and every time any sort of trade discussions happen, the whole world hears about it. So make what you will of the rumors but I’m officially in, “I’ll believe it when I see it” mode.