Quick Strikes: Max Pacioretty Traded to Vegas

The Montreal Canadiens trade their captain to a land far, far away.

The Bolts

Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh combined for two goals, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Nashville Predators rookies. Tampa Bay Lightning fall 5-3 in Sunday afternoon’s game. [NHL dot com]

“First game, so it’s always, those guys are probably very nervous,” Lightning prospects head coach Benoit Groulx said. “It’s good to have that first game out of the way. I believe our first period was probably our best and the last 10 minutes of the game, we had a push there. I think we saw some good things. Obviously, a lot of things to improve. When you start turning the puck over at the offensive blue line in your own zone, you’re looking for trouble and we were in trouble.”

It seems pretty clear that the Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be fighting it out for the Atlantic Division title this season. Even the oddsmakers can’t decide. [Sportsnet]

The Lightning prepare to open camp after racking up a franchise-record 113 points to finish atop the Eastern Conference standings last season. While Tampa Bay refrained from diving deep into the UFA market, the club kept busy by inking winger Nikita Kucherov and defenceman Ryan McDonagh to lengthy contract extensions, and have also been tied to trade speculation swirling around Ottawa Senators superstar defenceman Erik Karlsson.

Anton Stralman is a key piece to the Lightning’s defense core, but as money tightens, it’ll be tough to keep the defensive stalwart. [The Hockey Writers]

On a team with superstar talents like Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, it can be easy for a great player like Anton Stralman to slip under the radar. Yet, throughout his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Stralman has done just that. While his impact on the team over the last four years is well known throughout the Lightning fan base, his defensive first playing style is still easy to overlook on the roster.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch Crew is looking to upgrade roster into more of a “street team” vibe. They will be holding auditions in just over a week. Details below.

The Lightning prospect pool isn’t the best in the league, but for right now, it’s exactly what the team needs. A look at the short- and long-term prospects in the organization. [The Athletic]

But with Tampa Bay having a loaded top six that’s signed long-term, and an eight-deep blue line, their prospect pool boasts just what the perennial contender needs: several quality, close-to-NHL ready prospects that could provide depth and inexpensively fill holes in the upcoming salary cap crunch.

The Game

This trade broke at 1am on a Sunday night, so It definitely didn’t feel real, but Max Pacioretty has been traded by the Montreal Canadiens to the Vegas Golden Knights. The return, Nick Suzuki, Tomas Tatar, and a second-round pick in 2019. We will, of course, have more on this developing story after our morning coffee. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]

In return for their star forward the Canadiens acquire 2017 first round pick Nick Suzuki, who is coming off a 100 point (42 goals, 58 assists) season in the OHL for the Owen Sound Attack in 64 games played. In addition they also receive veteran forward Tomas Tatar, who joined Vegas last season from Detroit where he had a combined 20 goals and 14 assists.

Instant Analysis: Pacioretty trade brings great potential for the future

Marc Bergevin told this video tribute it was a problem in the dressing room.

Some threaded thoughts from 5am:

Josh Gorges still thinks he can get an NHL job. #ShapeOfHisLife [The Hockey Writers]

Gorges has some hard miles as a shutdown defenceman — playing a physical brand and sacrificing his body as a shot-blocking penalty-killer over his 14-year professional career — but he doesn’t feel like he’s done. He doesn’t feel washed up.

“Even skating this summer with all the (NHL) guys here, I felt good on the ice, felt like I’m right where I need to be,” Gorges said. “I almost feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. I believe that, but it’s not always up to me.”

The rookie tournament game between Toronto and Montreal got dirty yesterday. It is the second night in a row someone in the Toronto game was ejected. [Sportsnet]

Just as nothing deterred Canadiens prospect Morgan Adams-Moisan from elbowing Bracco in the face in the second period and nothing deterred Leafs prospect Mason Marchment from doing the same to a Canadiens prospect in the third.

Sure, Elynuik, Adams-Moisan and Marchment were all ejected from the game, but all three will get to continue on with their development in short order.