Quick Strikes: Nikita Kucherov of the Lightning putting in work

Wendel Clark, a new Charged Up podcast, and the good ol’ Canada vs USA rivalry

The Bolts

In the final Charged Up: A Raw Charge podcast of the summer, the gang talk about the final rankings for the Tampa Bay Lightning Top 25 Under 25 Years Old. They go in depth into the young players that might win themselves onto the opening night roster, including Adam Erne, Mikhail Sergachev, and Jake Dotchin. It’s a great show to listen to during your morning or evening commute! [Raw Charge]

Joe Smith provides us with an update on Nikita Kucherov’s summer. Long story short: Nikita didn’t give himself much of a break. “After helping lead Russia to a bronze medal at the World Championships in mid-May, Kucherov, 24, returned to Tampa in early June. He's been skating locally five-to-six days a week for more than a month.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Kucherov’s agent, Dan Milstein, also provided the media with an idea of what to expect from contract negotiations (that wont start until next July 1). “We'll get him a good contract that Nikita will earn, that's satisfactory for both sides. We're not going to try and break the bank. We'll see.” [Tampa Bay Times]

The One and Done Lightning

@GeoFitz4 has begun a series called “Top 5+1 One-and-Done Lightning players” that will share the top five players to play only one season for the Tampa Bay Lightning (Shoutout Habs Eyes on the Prize for the idea)

#5: The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs had a first-overall pick, they took Wendel Clark. After a legendary, rockstar-like, tenure in Toronto, Clark joined the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 1998-99 season. “Clark was given a contract that paid him $14 million with a team option for the next season for another $14 million. Imagine that. Granted, this was a time before the salary cap was a thing. But that was still a lot of money to pay for a player that had only 19 points in 47 games the previous season.” [Raw Charge]

The Prospects

@RyanBiech on twitter has been providing the internet with some great video from the World Junior Summer Showcase, where four Tampa Bay Lightning prospects are playing. Here is Brett Howden’s lovely tip-in goal during the USA Whites’ thumping of the Canada Reds split squad game. There will be more games today so check out Ryan’s twitter or the NHL Network in the USA.

Video Feature: Mark Masters of TSN shares the story of Cal Foote choosing to play for Canada over the USA because he wanted to put on the same sweater as his dad. Puns!

Former Syracuse Crunch defenseman Joe Mormina has been hired as an assistant coach for the AHL affiliate for the New York Rangers, the Hartford Wolfpack. Congrats Joe!

The Game

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed 22-year-old defenseman Brett Pesce to a six-year deal worth a little over $24 million. the cap hit on the deal is $4.025 million per year until 2024. “Pesce finished his second full season with the Hurricanes last year, playing in every game while posting career highs with 18 assists and 20 points to go along with two goals. While playing next to Slavin (who was signed to an extension earlier in the summer), the two formed a formidable pair, with Pesce averaging more than 21 minutes of ice time in 2016-17.” [Canes Country]

The Minnesota Wild and 25-year-old forward Mikael Granlund have agreed to a 3-year deal worth $17.5 million, cap hit of $5.75 million per season. “This contract comes off the heels of Granlund’s breakout 2016-17 campaign, where he scored 26 goals and led the team with 69 points.” [Hockey Wilderness]