Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning release 2018-2019 regular season schedule

We also get to see what the post-draft Development Camp schedule looks like.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced their schedule for the upcoming 2018-2019 NHL season!

Bryan Burns looked at some key dates in the schedule and pointed them out in his article. Stay tuned to Raw Charge as we will be releasing our own breakdown of the season in potentia as well. [NHL dot com]

The Lightning begin the season with five-straight games at home, beginning with the aforementioned home game against the Panthers on October 6, then have to wait five days before playing again when they suit up October 11 versus Vancouver. The five-game, season-opening homestand is tied for their longest homestand of the season.

The NHL have announced the following figures regarding the salary cap for next season. Basically, the Lightning can spend up to $79.5 million as of July 1st, a $4.5 million increase from last season. This is the largest increase in the cap ceiling since going up from $64.3 million in 2013-14 to $69 million in 2014-15. Nice.

The NHL Entry Draft is today, and the first 31 picks will be made this evening in Dallas Texas. Unfortunately, the Lightning do not have a pick in the first round, so our fun won’t begin until Day Two of the draft (unless Steve Yzerman does something fun and silly on this Friday night). Even without a top pick, the draft is an extremely important time, especially for an organization that emptied a lot of the cupboards last year via promotion and trade. [Raw Charge]

Looking back at the Lightning’s draft classes from 2011 through 2017, there’s been a few distinct changes that have been made. Some strategies have remained the same, like valuing hockey IQ and a player’s country or league of origin not being a concern, but others have shifted as the valuation of prospects and the needs of the organization have changed.

In part one today, we’ll go through the 2011-2013 draft classes. Part two will follow tomorrow and cover the 2014-2017 draft classes and some conclusions and thoughts about the strategy for the Lightning going into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

The Prospects

The Tampa Bay Lightning also released their schedule for their annual Development Camp that will take place at the end of the month. June 26th to June 30th is when the Lightning’s top prospects, as well as 2018 NHL Draftees and invitees will get a chance to get to know the management and staff of the Lightning as well as partake in some drills and scrimmages in Brandon, Florida. You can find the full schedule in the linked post. [NHL dot com]

As part of tradition during the camp, the players will give back to the Tampa Bay community. On Tuesday, June 26 three players will spend time with children at the Lightning Made Summer Camp at Florida Hospital Center Ice in Wesley Chapel, while the rest of the players will visit the Simmons Family Riverview Boys & Girls Club to play street hockey and participate in arts and crafts with kids in attendance. More information will be released at a later date.

Some free agent news coming out of Syracuse yesterday, broken by Syracuse Hockey. The following players will not be returning to the Syracuse Crunch next year: forwards Erik Condra (UFA), Alex Gallant (RFA, not qualifying), defensemen Mat Bodie (UFA), Jamie McBain (UFA), and Reid McNeill (AHL UFA), and lastly third goalie Olivier Mantha is retiring. Crunch GM Julien Brisebois also spoke about UFA Matthew Peca’s future with the club, which you can find in the article I will link to. [Syracuse]

“He said he wanted a fresh start with another organization,’’ BriseBois said of Condra. “He was obviously very good to us all three years he was with our organization. He was a great leader on and off the ice. Now, he’s healthy. I suspect he’s going to have a really good off-season training-wise.’’

And lastly, @Allovimo loses a friend. :(

The Game

For the first time ever, the PHWA has released all the votes their members cast for the the NHL Awards. The link is below if you’d like to peruse some of the PDFs a little bit.

After not coming to an agreement on contract terms with the Stanley Cup winning Washington Capitals, Barry Trotz has joined the New York Islanders to be their head coach. Lou Lamoriello’s most recent hiring will reportedly make somewhere close to $4 million for the next five seasons. [ESPN]

“It’s good to be wanted,’’ Trotz said. “It happened really quickly because you’re going from one emotion of winning the Cup to the next emotion of leaving the team you just won a Cup with and you have to make some quick decisions.’’

Barry Trotz went out and did the right thing for himself and his family and got the money he deserved. [NHL dot com]

“I thank them and the players. I love them all. They’re such a great group, a special group, and we all were tied together. They’ve got great ownership. They’ve got great management, and I had great coaches who put a lot of work in. I just felt from my family standpoint and from my standpoint for myself, in terms of principle, I took my chances; stepped down.”

And last but not least, your daily the Ottawa Senators are a tire fire news.

Oops, that last one was Peter Chiarelli.