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Quick Strikes: Hedman is “extremely disappointed” NHL is skipping the Olympics

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning lost 4-0 to the Boston Bruins. “In a game that was Tampa Bay’s biggest of the season, the Lightning laid an inexcusable egg. There was no visible desperation from the Bolts and they were consistently outskated and outfought by a Bruins team that was clearly hungry. Although the Lightning isn’t mathematically eliminated yet (there is still a slim chance they make the post season) losing this game almost solidifies their early tee-times for the summer.” [Raw Charge]

Victor Hedman: Obviously doesn’t agree with that decision [by the NHL to skip the 2018 Winter Olympics] so… yeah. Yesterday was – especially you know if you look for yourself, I’ve never been able to participate in the Olympics. Maybe next year was the one chance you’ll get. So yeah, it just – at a loss for words when the news came out.

Question: Where do you fall on possibly guys going on their own, that sort of thing. Have you talked about that at all?

Hedman: No.

Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times gets some phenomenal, honest quotes from Lightning players. Anton Stralman doesn’t hold back in his assessment of why the NHL is skipping the Olympics. “They can make up all the excuses for not going, player health, I don’t think they really care about that,” he said. “All they really care about is more money, that’s the bottom line. That’s what it’s all about. That’s even more sad to me. It’s a few billionaires trying to make an extra buck.” [Tampa Bay Times]

The Prospects

Mitchell Stephens was held off the scoresheet as his London Knights defeated the Windsor Spitfires 3-2 to advance to the second round of the OHL playoffs.

Goalie Connor Ingram signed an entry-level contract with the Bolts and is on his way to join the Syracuse Crunch. “It’s exciting. I was expecting a little sleep in today, first day away from the rink. But it’s a decent way to wake up,” said Ingram. “It’s rewarding. All those times you spend the long hours driving to the rink, getting cut from teams, getting passed over. It’s all worth it now.” [CFJC Today]

Ingram will join the Syracuse Crunch alongside fellow prospects Brett Howden and Dennis Yan.

The Game

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued a statement about the NHL’s decision to not participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics. “This must be a huge disappointment for the players who definitely wanted to play at the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018. The IOC feels very sorry for the athletes.” [Olympic]

Ottawa Senators forward Clarke MacArthur made a surprise return to the lineup last night. “After failing the baseline test earlier in the season, and being shut down by the Sens in January, MacArthur’s journey to recovery has been an emotional roller coaster. After going as far as trying out retirement, MacArthur’s game tonight will be his first since October 2015, a total of 539 days.” [Silver Seven Sens]

“The Wild had their players wear 1967 replica North Stars jerseys during warm-ups to honor the franchise that came to Minnesota 50 seasons ago. The North Stars moved to Dallas for the 1993-94 season and became the Stars.” [Puck Daddy]

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