Quick Strikes: Alex Semin is back in the news

World Junior Summer Showcase, Vasy’s amazing mask, and some NHL contracts

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning have decided to put the fate of the team’s depth back into veterans after being forced to sell a large portion of the previous veteran core last spring. Fan Rag Sports works through what Tampa gained and lost in the last 6 months. [Fan Rag Sports]

Andrei Vasilevskiy’s mask is very cool!

Fanpost: @TeslaCoils delves into the defensive pairings in terms of what’s needed out of them and what they can provide. “Yzerman, by adding multi-Cup champion Kunitz and re-signing our top forwards, seems to want to push for a deep Cup run this year. That is not necessarily the best time to have all three vets (four if you include Sustr) on your defensive pairs be babysitting rookies for the long haul.” [Raw Charge]

The Prospects

Barb Underhill helps Raddysh take his skating to next level [Video]: “If there's one criticism Taylor Raddysh has heard over and over again during his career it's that the big man can't move fast enough to keep up with the lightning-quick pace of today's game. And yet the Lightning prospect has been a dominant force in the OHL and made the Canadian world junior team last year. He credits skating consultant Barb Underhill with helping him improve his footwork and speed.” [TSN]

The Tampa Bay Lightning prospects are front and center for Team Canada at this year’s World Juniors Summer Showcase (we will have video of the games after their first game on tuesday).

Top 25 under 25

#1: Honorable Mentions: Yesterday we reviewed the players in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization who did not make our top 25 list. “The common theme with all of them is ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ With five of the seven being NCAA or NCAA-bound, they’re just not as visible. The same goes for Sosunov playing in Russian junior hockey. As we go on over the next couple years and we see more of what these players can do, I expect we’ll start to see them rise in the rankings.” We did player profiles for players ranked #26-#34, if you are interested. [Raw Charge]

#2: Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready to take the reins of the starting goalie job and run with it for a long time. “After taking over for Ben Bishop last season, the 23-year old spent 50 games in the crease for the Bolts - add to that another nine games at the World Championship and you’re looking at a significantly increased workload from the 36 games he had combined between Syracuse and Tampa in the 2015-16 season.” [Raw Charge]

#3: Brayden Point is going to play in the NHL next year. The current raging debate is whether the 79th overall pick in 2014 will be slotted at center or the right wing. “Point would represent a much larger upside as the second line right winger over being the third line center with Gourde on the second line. If he is on the second line and paired up with capable offensive partners, expecting 50 to 60 points is a very reasonable projection.” [Raw Charge]

The Game

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed RFA Conor Sheary to a 3-year contract with a $3 million cap hit, annually. The 25 year old will be a UFA when the contract expires. “At first blush and just for this player and situation, it appears to be a very fair contract. Sheary, 25, is at prime age for point production, and has proven to fit in very well on the top line with Sidney Crosby.” [Pensburgh]

The Minnesota Wild and Nino Niederreiter have settled their arbitration case and agreed to a five-year deal with a cap hit of $5.25 million. “The Swiss winger had his career best season in 16-17 with 25 goals and 57 points, and it was his 3rd season in a row where he hit the 20-goal-margin.” [Hockey Wilderness]

NHL enigma Alexander Semin has officially retired from hockey, after his KHL team Metallurg Magnitogorsk decided not to resign him. Alex has found a new career path, and I, for one, think it rocks! “[Semin] applied to the Siberian Federal University (SFU) and plans to study metallurgy full-time.  Specifically, he plans to pursue the Master’s Program in ‘Metallurgy of Non-Ferrous Metals.’” [Nova Caps Fan] Like a magnet, Semin was a very polarizing figure in the NHL during his tenure. Hopefully, he can one day be granted tenure for his study in non-magnetic metals!