Quick Strikes: Lightning hockey is back!

The Tampa Bay Lightning face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight! Yes, I know it’s only the preseason, but still! HOCKEY!

The Bolts

HOCKEY IS BACK TODAY! The Tampa Bay Lightning face the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 PM in our very own Amalie Arena. This is a great opportunity to get to see some of the most promising prospects (hello first round draft pick Cal Foote!), mixed in with a healthy dose of veteran players we all know and love.

Gourde ready to make jump to NHL regular. "It's nice to have the deal, but I don't want to sit on it," Gourde said. "I've still got to show what I'm capable of doing on the ice, and I really focus on working hard every night and trying to make the team. That's what I'm focused on right now. I don't really see long term. I want to see tomorrow what's going to be." [Tampa Bay Lightning]

Alex Killorn scored a buzzer beater to help secure a victory for his team in a training camp scrimmage.

Check out the latest episode of the Raw Charge podcast in which Broad Street Hockey’s Travis Hughes joins Matt to do a preview of the Metropolitan Division. As a lifelong Philadelphia Flyers fan, Hughes gives the best description of the Pittsburgh Penguins - it is equal parts hilarious and incredibly accurate. Give it a listen! [Raw Charge]

Quick update on Anton Stralman. He’s skating by himself in a red no-contact jersey but will hopefully rejoin the team soon.

Former Lightning first-round pick Slater Koekkoek faces make-or-break season. "I've got something to prove," Koekkoek said. "I was in Syracuse last year, that's not where I wanted to be. I thought I did that in the (AHL) playoffs, I showed that I had something to prove." [Tampa Bay Times]

Happy (belated) birthday to Peter Budaj! Here’s a quick, adorable interview from last season with Lightning junior reporter Wyatt Ross

Wyatt Ross: Who is the worst dancer on the team?

Peter Budaj: Who’s the worst dancer? I don’t know. I haven’t been here a long time. I would think Shu probably - [Andrej] Sustr might be the worst dancer on the team. [smiles]

Ross: Can you show me some of his dance moves?

Budaj: No because I’m right behind, so I can’t really show you because I’m as bad as him. [laughs]

Ross: Who do think is going to grow the longest playoff beard?

Budaj: Ooooh, I think Luke [Witkowski] has me beat right now by a mile here. Hopefully we get to the playoffs and if he keeps continuing, it’s going to be a very long playoff beard for him. [laughs]

The Prospects

Tampa Bay Lightning cut ties with Cam Darcy and Brian Hart. “With a influx of young talent joining the Syracuse Crunch this season, there simply was not room for either Darcy or Hart to make much of an impact on the Crunch.” [Raw Charge]

Mikhail Sergachev already starting to shine under spotlight in Tampa Bay Lightning camp. “Mikhail Sergachev hung around practice following his second day on the ice as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning opting to put in some extra work. When you see that the extra work involved feeding one-time passes to Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, you begin to get a glimpse as to what the 19-year-old is all about as a hockey player.” [Lightning Insider, subscription]

The League

Jonathan Drouin's first assist as Canadien will be to CHUM hospital. “It looks like Jonathan Drouin is going to take a page from P.K. Subban’s playbook when it comes to charitable work in Montreal.” [Montreal Gazette]

Former Bolt Teddy Purcell hopes to make most of chance with Bruins. “The 32-year-old winger, a veteran of four NHL teams (he played for one of them twice), is in the Bruins’ training camp on a Professional Tryout (PTO)... ‘This is the first time in my career that I don’t have a contract in training camp, so it’s different,’ said Purcell, whose spent his best days with the Lightning from the end of 2009-10 through 2013-14.” [Providence Journal]

Another former Bolt is trying to land a NHL contract with a PTO - Ryan Malone is at Minnesota Wild training camp. He played in last night’s victory over the Winnipeg Jets. “Ryan Malone had the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets in pre-season play Monday. The 37-year-old Malone, who retired almost two years ago, is attempting to return to pro hockey. His low shot beat Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck.” [Kelowna Daily Courier]