Quick Strikes: Off-season judgement is underway for the Tampa Bay Lightning

and an NHL referee will be playing in the US Open.

The Bolts

There is a report circulating that Andrei Vasilevskiy’s brother Alexei has his eyes on the NHL, and specifically the Tampa Bay Lightning. [Raw Charge]

A right-handed defenseman, Vasilevskiy measures at 5’11” and 205 pounds. He has spent the past three years of his KHL career with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. In those three seasons, he played in 153 games with 19 goals, 35 assists, and 54 points. In 12 playoff games, he had a goal, three assists, and four points.

loserpoints headed some really interesting post-season player evaluations and the numbers are in! Alan does a really good job explaining the numbers and context, so you don’t have to be a math wiz to understand all too much about analytics or anything like that. [Raw Charge]

Of all the players graded in the survey, Brayden Point had the highest grade from the readers, even higher than Nikita Kucherov. I don’t interpret that to mean that people think Point is better than Kuch. I think the results are an indication of how excited everyone is about how well Point played in just his second professional season. He was a revelation this year and we’ll get more into that later when we look at the stats.

Our personal podcast extraordinaire Matthew Esteves joined the Blueshirts Breakaway podcast to talk about some Bolts, including evaluating “the trade” three months in. [Blueshirt Breakaway]

Anyone have any ideas as to what the summer will entail for the Bolts’ organization? GeoFitz4 has some, and he shared them here. [Raw Charge]

The core of the Lightning’s roster is already in place and under contract for next season. There are a few questions here and there about restricted free agents and possible trades of one or two roster players. But there shouldn’t be any doubt that the roster the Lightning had for the playoffs is going to be almost the same roster they’ll be running out on opening night for the 2018-19 season

Joe Smith wrote a similar piece at The Athletic, asking the question of who stays and who might go this off-season. [The Athletic]

So as Yzerman tries to decide how to handle the Lightning’s most recent disappointment, losing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final, he knows knee-jerk reactions won’t work.

Are the Lightning a disappointing playoff team? Do we have disappointing playoff performers? To some extent, probably yes. Down Goes Brown turns the knife in his “All-Disappointment Team” here. [Sportsnet]

Keep in mind, we’re looking for players who were disappointing relative to what their teams had hoped they’d do. This isn’t a collection of the worst players from this year’s playoffs, since there are any number of fourth-liners or depth defencemen who did even less. In a way, appearing on a list like this is almost a compliment, since it implies that expectations were high. Remember that when your favourite player shows up and you want to yell at me.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch will be celebrating 25 years of AHL hockey in it’s current form next year, but celebrating at a game in a football stadium doesn’t look like it’s going to be one of those celebrations. [Syracuse]

Syracuse owner Howard Dolgon wanted to play another contest in that building in 2018-19 as a centerpiece for its 25th anniversary season. He said he and SU had even settled on a possible date.

But Dolgon said earlier this week that planning for that showcase game takes up too much time and he wants his staff to focus on other bells and whistles marking the landmark season instead.

Go pick up some really cheap, high quality hockey equipment!

Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh’s now former head coach in Sault Ste. Marie has taken a job as the head coach of the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins. Congratulations to him on the move up! Hopefully Boris and Taylor can also find their way in the AHL (or possibly NHL) next season as well. [The AHL]

More from the AHL, some chatter and gossip surrounding AHL coaching changes that might or might not include Crunch head coach Benoit Groulx. :O [AHL Report]

The Game

SB Nation is doing a mock draft of the first round of the NHL Draft. Unfortunately, the Lightning do not have a first round pick, so we don’t have a pick to draft with. Nevertheless, we will be following along with the draft process in case someone does something dumb that we can laugh about, or someone offers us a trade. You never know if Steve Yzerman is secretly plotting to trade for the first overall pick! [Raw Charge]

The crew at Canes Country is happy to have Svechnikov. While Dahlin is the clear top pick in this draft, Svechnikov is much more than a consolation prize. One of Carolina’s weaknesses in recent years has been finishing talent, and Svechnikov’s 40 goals in 44 games this season suggest he’ll be able to help correct that issue.

In the most predictable move ever, the NHL’s Godfather Lou Lamoriello has fired New York Islanders GM Garth Snow and head coach Doug Weight. Lou has taken the GM job for himself on top of his “Presidential duties.” He stated that he will find a new head coach but we’ve seen him do that on top of being a GM too. Maybe he gives it to John Tavares in the move of the century? [NHL dot com]

New York Islanders President of Hockey Operations, Lou Lamoriello announced today that Garth Snow and Doug Weight have been relieved of their duties. Lamoriello will take over the responsibilities of General Manager and immediately begin the process to find the team’s next Head Coach.

There’s an NHL referee that has qualified for this year’s US Open golf tournament. Garrett Rank has been an NHL referee for three seasons now, and has previously finished 77th at the 2016 Canadian Open. [ESPN]

“Was next to the best players in the world on the ice. ... Next week I get to play with the best golfers in the world,” he told Sportsnet. “It’s a pretty cool life I’m living right now.”

Highlight of the Night: Sheldon Dries (real name) pots home the game’s opening goal with a snipe off the rush. The Texas Stars would go on to lose the game to the Toronto Marlies by a score of 2-1. Our North Division foes are now ahead 2-1 in the series.