Quick Strikes: Rapper J. Cole is a fan of Tampa Bay Lightning #15?

Who do you reckon, Mike Angelidis or Michael Bourneval?

The Bolts

In the words of Justin, “J. Cole - Michael Bournival fan?” J. Cole wore a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey for his Billboard magazine cover shoot. [Creative Loafing]

”J. Cole’s jersey with 15 on the back was gifted to him the night of his Tampa show on August 11. The number was requested by him/his team and we created it in house for him to have. So glad to see him in it,” Angela Lanza, senior manager of event marketing at Amalie Arena, told CL.

Joe wrote a nice piece on us Orlando TBL fans, and what it meant to watch a game at Amway. Rare Orlando trip a ‘dream come true’ for expanded Lightning fan base. [The Athletic, paid content]

Judging by the startling amount of Lightning blue sweaters among the 10,781 in the stands Thursday night, Hernandez wasn’t alone. The Lightning have made significant inroads in the Central Florida hotbed with a grassroots hockey campaign the past three years, and their recent affiliation agreement with the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears promises to strengthen that bond.

In case you missed it, yesterday Alan wrote the Tampa Bay Lightning 2018-2019 season preview: The top six forwards [Raw Charge]

The Tampa Bay Lightning have an excellent top six. But you already knew that. They have five players who would be on the first line of most NHL teams. But you already knew that, too. What we don’t know is how far this group can carry the team this year. They have more support than ever with a revamped blue line and a goalie ready to take the next step in his career.

As nice as all that depth is, this group of forwards is the one that has to lead the way this season. Kucherov and Stamkos are the engine that powers the offense. Let’s see how far they can go.

Aand here’s another piece by Joe, this time projecting our opening night roster. Various of our staff agree, others disagree. [The Athletic, paid content]

There are only eight defensemen left in Lightning camp, and six are locks: Victor Hedman, McDonagh, Mikhail Sergachev, Anton Stralman, Braydon Coburn and Dan Girardi. Slater Koekkoek, on another one-year, “show-me” deal, has had a good camp and would appear OK. Cooper did say that just because you have a one-way contract doesn’t mean you’re making the team.

The Prospects

NHL Rookies To Watch In The 2018-19 Season [Forbes]

Is Mathieu Joseph this year’s model? Selected 120th overall in 2015, the 21-year-old is a tenacious speedster who has been lighting it up in preseason, with three goals and seven points in five games.

The Solar Bears roster is here in this training camp announcement. [The ECHL]

Orlando Solar Bears – Corbin Boes, G; Mike Monfredo, D; Rob Mann, D; Carter Struthers, D; Tim Shoup, D; Etienne Boutet, D; Tayler Thompson, F; Ryan Siiro, F; Robbie Baillargeon, F; Dylan Fitze, F; Corey Kalk, F; Vince Dunn, F; Trevor Olson, F; Stefan Fournier, F; Ryan Lough, F; Brent Pedersen, F; Jared Fiegl, F; Alexandre Ranger, F; Christophe Lalancette, F; Dillon Kelley, G; Brandon Tucker, F; Brett D’Andrea, F

The Game

Here’s an interesting piece in SI about the foot pass: NHL’s Biggest Stars Flash Fancy Footwork As an ‘Added Weapon’. [Sports Illustrated]

Indeed, executing the proper foot-pass takes surprising technique. “In soccer you can drag your foot when you kick the ball,” Oshie says. “If your skate touches the ice when you kick the puck, you’ll dig in and get a high ankle sprain or snap your ankle. You have to put your skate like this far off the ice to kick a puck. It’s a lot harder than you’d think.”

This’ll be interesting: NBC Sports will debut traveling pregame show outside Capitals’ opener. [Washington Post]

“With the impressive growth of fan interest in nontraditional NHL markets, combined with the emergence of a number of rising stars, we felt the time was right to broaden our Wednesday night schedule and evolve the brand,” NBC Sports Executive Producer and President Sam Flood said. “Fans will still see plenty of games between traditional powers, but our new approach to Wednesday nights — including a record number of doubleheaders — allows us to show more rising stars and more Western Conference and Canadian teams than ever before.”

Dom Luszczyszyn wrote his preview for the Nashville Predators. [The Athletic, paid content]

What greatly helps the team’s situation at centre is that there is some excellent support on the wings to mask the team’s deficiencies down the middle. The team has two borderline top five groups on both sides and collectively have the third strongest winger group behind Boston and Winnipeg. It’s what propels the team to a seventh best forward corps – without that depth on each side, Nashville wouldn’t be close.

This is a deep dive on Karlsson’s relocation: Ottawa may have his heart, but Erik Karlsson’s aim is a Stanley Cup run in San Jose [ESPN]

”We planned this a couple of years ago. When you’re trying to add a difference-maker -- and there aren’t many of them -- you want to be poised to be able to activate and go after them. To do that, you need a couple of things. You need to have the cap space. You have to have assets and young pieces that people want,” said Wilson, who credited his scouting staff for replenishing his prospect pool and the relocation of the team’s AHL franchise in helping to better groom players.

Brett Howden made the Rangers. Congrats to him, and it’s sad he’s going to wear the wrong blue. [Newsday]

Brett Howden, a first-round pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2016 who was acquired in the Ryan McDonagh-J.T. Miller deal at last season’s trade deadline, made the team.

Rick Bowness is doing his mentoring thing, but for the Dallas Stars. Best of luck there, Mr. Bowness! [Dallas News]

Assistant coach Rick Bowness: After the past five seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning and defensemen like Victor Hedman, Bowness arrives in Dallas. He’s also been the head coach of the Jets, Bruins, Senators, Islanders and Coyotes.

Gotta keep our eyes on these Yzerthiefs: