Quick Strikes: Andrei Vasilevskiy is a winner!

...Well, his mask is, anyway, but he’s always a winner in our hearts.

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s mask has been selected as a winner in the NHL Fan Choice Awards. Way to go, Lightning Land!

Lightning beat writer Bryan Burns makes the case for Victor Hedman as the NHL’s best defenseman. [NHL]

Hedman is attempting to become the first Tampa Bay Lightning player to win the award. Prior to Hedman’s arrival, the closest a Bolt had come to winning the Norris was when Dan Boyle finished fourth in 2007

Should the Lightning explore the value of Ryan McDonagh? Michael Stuart explores the idea. [The Lightning Lounge]

The question this blogger has been wrestling with over the past number of weeks is whether it makes more sense for the Lightning to gamble on a McDonagh bounce back campaign or to cash in on his sterling reputation now by way of a trade. Having given it some measure of thought, I’m leaning more and more towards at least exploring the trade option to see if value can be derived there.

In case you missed it, Steven Stamkos and the Lightning spent time with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay last week:

The Prospects

It was announced yesterday that the Lightning have re-signed Carter Verhaeghe to a one-year contract. [Raw Charge]

For Verhaeghe the two-way deal is a reward for a season that saw him establish career highs in goals, assists and points. And for the the Lightning/Crunch it provides some stability and veteran (despite the fact he’s only 22 years old) experience on the team.

The Ontario native’s arrival in Syracuse was a little bittersweet as he was brought to the organization in a trade involving fan-favorite Kristers Gudlevskis. It appeared that the Latvian goaltender was going to be losing playing time due to the arrival of Connor Ingram and was eyeing a move to the KHL. Rather than lose him for nothing, the Crunch were able to move him to Bridgeport for Verhaeghe, a talented but inconsistent forward.

The Crunch has posted a super helpful off season player tracker. The site includes an explanation of the different contracts and which players have them. It also includes upcoming prospects. [Syracuse Crunch]

The Crunch organization is going to be putting together a Syracuse Hockey Hall of Fame this fall. Not surprisingly, I had some strong opinions on who should be included from the Crunch. [Raw Charge]

Angelidis is one of the most influential names in Crunch history and in the Syracuse community thanks to his time with the team. The former captain is still a very beloved person among the fan base. I’m not crying, you’re crying. His Change for Change initiative lives on in Syracuse, as does the general attitude of winning, effort, and passion he brought to the city. For him to not eventually get elected would be a freaking crime very big surprise.

Lightning goalie prospect Connor Ingram has music opinions:

ECHL Adirondack, unofficial ECHL club of the Crunch and the Lightning, completed two separate futures trades from last season yesterday. The trades were ones that allowed the to acquire Shane Conacher, younger brother of Cory Conacher, and Kenton Miller. [Adirondack Thunder]

Adirondack will send forward Tim Harrison to the Orlando Solar Bears to complete the October trade that netted the ECHL rights to Conacher, the Thunder’s leading scorer this past season. Conacher, 24, posted 63 points (20-43-63) in 55 games played with Adirondack this year while adding an additional four points (3-1-4) in the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Canisius College product also appeared in 10 games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.

The Game

It’s already almost time for prospect camp! The Dallas Stars released dates and rosters yesterday:

We covered picks 15, 16, and 17 of SBNation’s mock NHL 2018 Draft yesterday. [Raw Charge]

Compared to the previous stretch of picks, these were tame. No trades. No major surprises. Just three good players taken reasonably within the range they are expected to go on draft night

This week’s From the Press Box Podcast updates listeners on happenings with the Laval Rocket, AHL club of the Montreal Canadiens, news out of the QMJHL, and the happenings of the Calder Cup final. (Game 6 was played last night. Me writing this has no idea what happened.) [AHL Report]

Check out a new episode of From the Press Box every Tuesday, where Amy and Rick will talk about the Montreal Canadiens prospects in the AHL, ECHL, NCAA, OHL, and European leagues, as well as taking a closer look at other AHL teams, news, entertainment, and special events around the American Hockey League.

The Buffalo Beauts of the WNHL have signed Olympic gold medalist Dani Cameranes.