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Quick Strikes: The Lightning announce pre-season games

The Bolts:

The Lightning announced their pre-season schedule. The Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers will take on the Lightning in September. The September 27th game will be played in Orlando. [Tampa Bay Lightning]

Geo compares his player grades to the rest of the staff. [Raw Charge]

What I want to focus on are those three players where I more significantly disagreed with the readers. For my grading process, I used a B as my “performed as expected” mid-point and went from there. I tried my best to think back to the beginning of the season to what my expectations were for each player to grade them. For a couple players, I had to extrapolate that a bit because I didn’t expect them to be in the NHL, like Anthony Cirelli, or weren’t with the team to start the season, like J.T. Miller and Louis Domingue. For those players, I based it on my expectations when they made their way to Tampa Bay.

TSN took a look at the off-season for the Lightning in their “Off Season Game Plan” series. [TSN]

It’s not as though the Lightning need to do anything materially different to be in contention next year. They lost in seven games in the Eastern Conference Final to the ultimate Cup champions, and have the ingredients needed to win in this league.

The World Cup is under way and there is no doubt who Mikhail Sergachev is rooting for:

The Prospects

Like their parent affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch have the distinction of losing to the eventual trophy winner. The Toronto Marlies, who eliminated the Crunch in the second round, clinch their first Calder Cup with a 6-1 win over the Texas Stars. [Pension Plan Puppets]

The Game

The NHL announces that the regular season openers will be announced on June 20th. Get your calendars ready [NHL Public Relations]

From earlier this month (but you might have missed it) Sal Berry looks at some um…interesting Washington Capitals hockey cards [Puck Junk]

A nice recap of the Capitals day of celebration [SB Nation]

SB Nation’s mock draft rolls on towards the bottom third of the first round.  [Raw Charge]

We’ll cover picks 22, 23, and 24 today. The trend that’s emerging as we approach the end of the first round is that our bloggers are looking for high upside players. That makes sense because there are no consequences for missing. And we’ll learn about three more players with a chance to deliver a big return on a late first-round pick.

The Edmonton Oilers re-signed Drake Caggiula to a two-year deal. The 23-year-old had 20 points in 67 games and was set to become a restricted free agent. Ryan Rishaug of TSN reports that the deal is for $1.5 million per year. Could that be a temple for similar aged Lightning RFAs Cedric Paquette and Adam Erne?  [NHL.com]

Things to do in Tampa this weekend

There isn’t much going on in the hockey world so why not go out and explore what’s going on around town.

Saturday – Maroon 5 is in town! They will be performing at Amalie Arena starting at 8:00pm. Has Maroon 5 ever played a NHL event? They seem like the type of band that would play before an all-star game. [Ticket Master]

Saturday – Speaking of all-star games – this year’s Florida State League All-Star Game is in Tampa. While it might not get quite the media attention that the NHL version received, it’s a good chance to see tomorrow’s baseball stars today. [Florida State League]

On Going – Do you know who George Sosnak is? Neither did we. He was a minor league umpire turned folk artist.  His medium? Baseballs. The Tampa Museum of Art is currently showing a collection of his work. [Tampa Musuem of Art]

Sunday – Father’s Day. Take your dad, step-dad, father figure or best friend to go see Styx at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Tesla are the opening acts. [Ticket Master]

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