Quick Strikes: An update from Tampa Bay Lightning practice as Season Opener is 1 day away

and prospect Alexey Lipanov heads to Kitchener of the OHL in a trade.

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper has a lot of tough — but good — lineup decisions to make when it comes to his forwards. [NHL dot com]

If Johnson returns for Opening Night, he certainly will slide into the Bolts’ top nine, most likely in Gourde’s spot on the second line. Gourde slips down to third line right wing, currently occupied by Joseph. And Joseph either finds himself out of the lineup on Opening Night or, most likely, taking either Erne’s or Conacher’s spot on the fourth line.

The Forwards

As we move to the injury front, Tyler Johnson looks like he’s going to be in the lineup on Saturday, and despite being cleared for contact, Callahan is still a ways away.

Caley Chelios and Bryan Burns get in front of the camera and share what they’ve seen when it comes to the additions — particularly Mathieu Joseph and Danick Martel — to the Lightning roster.

Who could replace Johnson if he isn’t ready to play on Saturday night? Lauren Burg explains. [The Hockey Writers]

Yes, you heard that right. The Lightning are already banged up. Winger Ryan Callahan has been placed on injured reserve (IR) as he recovers from May shoulder surgery and Nikita Kucherov missed nearly a week of training camp before returning to practice Monday. All signs point to him being available for opening night, a relief to Lightning nation.

The Post-Practice Press Conference

Outside the rink, the banners are out, and looking fresh af!

The Lightning have a light start to the season, and the players are getting antsy. [Tampa Bay Times]

The Lightning has to wait until Saturday to place its first game. After it faces the Panthers at Amalie Arena, it won’t play again until Thursday against the Canucks at home.

”It’s kind of tough,” wing Cory Conacher said. “You see these guys (Wednesday) night and we still have to wait a couple sleeps. It makes you that much more anxious to play and that more excited to play.”

The Prospects

Alexey Lipanov, who has been practicing with the Syracuse Crunch, has been traded from the Sudbury Wolves, to the Kitchener Rangers for a pair of third-round picks. It appears there was a lot of discussions behind the scenes as to the future (or present) of Lipanov, who could’ve stayed with the Crunch, but has decided to go back to the OHL, and to Kitchener, specifically.

It was a practice day for the Syracuse Crunch, who look to be narrowing on their final roster to start the season this weekend. Let’s take you though it.

The Roster

Verhaeghe is, in fact, day-to-day with an injury. It shouldn’t keep him out of the lineup for long.

Gabriel Dumont is back for another season and his leadership on the team will be one of the more valuable aspects of his game that he’s bringing to the table. [Syracuse]

The two jobs aren’t mutually exclusive, of course. AHL captains get promoted to the NHL all the time. But naming a captain who is still relatively young and with NHL-ready skills heightens the risk that the AHL team’s leader won’t be in that locker room for the inevitable ups and downs.

Talking to the Press

Benoit Groulx was especially hounded about the captain question. It appears this is a question that will be answered after a few games.

It looks like a brand new rink!

Connor Ingram

The Game

The Detroit Red Wings are all-in on their youth movement. A return to the playoffs hinge solely on how the kids improve. [Detroit Free Press]

“For us to be good, the young guys have to carry the team and be our best players,” veteran center Frans Nielsen said. “From what they have shown so far, you get a feeling they are ready to take the responsibility and be leaders. Hank is not here so there is going to be a lot of ice time and it really looks like they are going to thrive with that ice time.

But let’s fix the slogans, shall wel?

#PrideTape is back and looking to spread the love and truth that Hockey Is For Everyone.

The New York Islanders have unveiled pending UFA Anders Lee as the newest captain of the organization. Not quite sure why they needed to do this, but sure. [Lighthouse Hockey]

Going back to his draft day, Lee was spoken of as potential “future captain material” and exhibited the mentality of a level-headed leader. It’s been a long road since that day — a very successful gap year in the USHL, three years at NCAA Notre Dame, time in AHL Bridgeport, some ups and downs in the NHL — but now the moment has arrived.

CapFriendly has a new look, and it is GREAT!

Former NHLer Lyle​ Odelein nearly died this summer. Here’s his story. [The Athletic]

“I know how much Lyle meant to hockey fans in all those cities he played. I know how much he gave of himself through the years, and how happy it made him, how natural it was for him. But now I felt like, if we could have all those people and more thinking about him and praying for him, maybe it would lift him up. It was desperation, absolutely.”

Oh, god, Vegas.

Highlight of the Night: Games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are usually nuts, but this one was entertaining on so many levels.