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Quick Strikes: Ottawa Senators allowing teams to talk extension with Erik Karlsson

The Bolts

Slater Koekkoek will return to the Tampa Bay Lightning next season (for now) after he accepted a one-year contract worth $865,000. Koekkoek requires waivers to be sent down, but his contract is completely buriable. [Raw Charge]

There’s a definite question here about whether Koekkoek will find his way into the lineup. It’s possible with the coaching shuffle and Rick Bowness being shown the door that Koekkoek will get something of a fresh start with Todd Richards taking over the defensemen. The league has demonstrated that you need mobile defensemen to be successful. Koekkoek is certainly a very good skater on the blue line. He doesn’t lack size either coming in at 6’2” and 194 pounds.

The Lightning were quiet on Free Agency Day one and two in terms of big deals, but they made sure to shore up a depleted depth of NHL-calibre players for the Syracuse Crunch. [Raw Charge]

Although it’s the bigger deals that tend to get a lot of attention on July 1st – the Tampa Bay Lightning extending defenseman Ryan McDonagh for seven years, for instance – the smaller deals can be the glue that holds the lower levels of any organization together. The Syracuse Crunch got a helping of that glue today with the signings of forward Kevin Lynch, and defensemen Cameron Gaunce and Hubert Labrie.

Stevie. This us? [Sportsnet]

“Obviously we don’t really want to talk about roster players, contract negotiations, trades, all these things,” Dorion said Sunday. “But I think we owe it to our fans and we made a promise at the town hall that we would make a contract offer to Erik Karlsson and we’ve done so.”

The Prospects

Our beat reporter Matt Esteves was at Development camp over the weekend and is ready to share his thoughts on the prospects that he saw in person. Go read his profiles ON EVERY PLAYER WHO WAS PRESENT. [Raw Charge]

Skill for days with Dennis Yan. He was, unfortunately, on Team Killorn during the tournament and didn’t break into the top 10 of scoring, but between Yan and Lipanov they scored the vast majority of goals their team did get. We’ve heard plenty about what Yan can do offensively, and he backed that up during the tournament. However, the most glaring issue I saw was on the defensive side.

Bolts prospect Ryan Zuhlsdorf retweeted this, so he’s officially cool now.

Taylor Raddysh opens up about his family, namely his brother, and growing up as a two-sport athlete. [Tampa Bay Times]

“He was ecstatic and said, ‘This is exactly what you worked for, and I never doubted anything that you have done,’ “ Darren Raddysh said. “Just to see all the hard work I put in the last couple years and see it pay off, he wished he could of been there with me.”

The Game

Henrik Zetterberg isn’t sure whether he wants to return to the Detroit Red Wings or not. [NHL dot com]

“The last I talked to him, I think he’s planning on playing,” Holland told the Red Wings website Sunday. “Obviously his back is going to determine whether he can or he can’t. Do I have a clear green light? I’m expecting him to play. Do I have a clear green light? No, I don’t know that I’ve got a clear green light.”

Islanders Nation is pretty broken right now. The period of anger is over, now there’s just grief. [Lighthouse Hockey]

While the 1980s were kind to the New York Islanders, the start of the next decade was a different story. The four-time Stanley Cup Champions won just one playoff series after their “Drive for Five” stalled in 1984. Their star, Pat LaFontaine grew tired of losing, and more importantly, the uncertainty of ownership.

So the Edmonton Oilers forwards are still bad. I mean, it’s always been bad, but people are only just starting to notice. In Edmonton, I mean. The rest of the league knew they were bad the entire time. [Copper and Blue]

I think I have Rieder higher up than Milan Lucic right now. The rest of this doesn’t look too bad, if you don’t mind that the entire right side has got a lot of, uh, things going on.


SB Nation NHL has retweeted articles for all the major signings. That resource — along with Cap Friendly, of course — should bring everyone back up to speed after the whirlwind that was Free Agency.

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