Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Lipanov chats with Russian press

Alternate Universes, Mark Recchi, and North Korean hockey sticks.

The Bolts

Alexey Lipanov will be making his way to the Barrie Colts this season after breaking with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. Credit to Championat.com and Natalia (@forgotten_night) of Raw Charge. “To be honest, it was a long wait. I thought perhaps they’d pick me in the second round, but the third is not bad either. I’m happy with the choice, the Lightning are an excellent organization and Tampa is a good city.” [Raw Charge]

Puck Daddy had a familiar guest writter yesterday! Our very own managing editor @Achariya takes us through the alternate universe where Jonathan Drouin’s tenure in Tampa wasn’t so chaotic. “Tampa Bay Lightning fans were excited about seeing Drouin, finally, in the lineup for the 2014-15 season. But then he broke his thumb in a wacky fall during training camp and didn’t see the ice until near the end of October.” [Puck Daddy]

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s home, Amalie Arena, has been named the 3rd best Arena in the U.S. and 15th best in the world! “The arena is No. 3 in the U.S., behind Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York (376,230 tickets sold) and Madison Square Garden (332,153). The rankings include venues with capacity of at least 15,001; Amalie Arena's maximum capacity is 20,500.” [Biz journals/Pollstar]

The One and Done Lightning

#3: Mark Recchi showed up to the 2007-08 Tampa Bay Lightning amidst a lot of changes. “The team used four goaltenders, 18 defensemen, and 21 forwards throughout the season. Despite the turnover on the roster and with the coaching staff, Recchi put up 13 goals and 45 points in 62 games for the Lightning.” [Raw Charge]

#4: Kurtis Foster. "Prior to joining the Lightning, Foster’s career high in assists was 20 with the Minnesota Wild in 2006-07, and his career high in points was 28 with the Wild in 2005-06. He broke through both of those career highs with 34 assists and 42 points for the Lightning." [Raw Charge]

#5: The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs had a first-overall pick, they took Wendel Clark. After a legendary, rockstar-like, tenure in Toronto, Clark joined the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 1998-99 season. “Clark was given a contract that paid him $14 million with a team option for the next season for another $14 million. Imagine that. Granted, this was a time before the salary cap was a thing. But that was still a lot of money to pay for a player that had only 19 points in 47 games the previous season.” [Raw Charge]

The Crunch/Prospects

ICYMI: This beauty from Wednesday:

The Game

Was the Mighty Ducks peewee Championship game rigged against them? Reddit tackles this hard hitting question. “As you may know The Mighty Ducks is one of the greatest hockey movies ever. However the ending may have been a lot different if "The League" had its way. Yes I said it, the refs and the Peewee league featured in the film wanted the Hawks to continue their winning ways.” [Reddit]

North Korea sent a hockey team to Auckland, New Zealand for a tournament. They brought along with them their battered and worn wooden hockey sticks. The tournament officials provided the team with new carbon-fibre sticks to let them play with. The North Korean team tried taking them home but were unable due to UN sanctions. "Recently, the development of our nuclear power and the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile raised us to a higher position in the world. We will also dominate the US in the sports sector in the next few years." - Jong Kwang-Rim (North Korea Sports ministry official) [Daily Mail]