Quick Strikes: Lightning, Crunch issue weekly team awards, Flyers fire Hakstol

Plus: Lightning play games; Syracuse in the community.

-The Tampa Bay Lightning got an important piece of their team back on the ice Sunday night when defenseman Anton Stralman hit the ice again. His team was certainly happy to have him back.

-Speaking of Stralman...

-Once the Lightning’s West Coast road swing is done, home fans will want to keep an eye on a few local construction projects that have changed traffic patterns around Amalie Arena.

-Both the Lightning and the Syracuse Crunch will have various community initiatives and appearances going on in the coming weeks. Wednesday night, Lightning fans can join Phil Esposito at American Social Tampa:

-Lightning players Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph were at Tampa General Hospital yesterday, doing...uh...this.

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-Registration for the 2019 Bolts Chel Challenge NHL 19 tournament opens on January 7th, with qualifying matches taking place on February 2nd.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be hosting the “2019 Bolts Chel Challenge” with qualifying matches kicking off on February 2, 2019. The final four participants will face off at AMALIE Arena on February 16, 2019 when the Lightning take on the Montreal Canadiens for a chance to take home part of a $10,000 prize purse. The Top 3 finishers will then go on to represent the Lightning at the 2019 Chel Classic, a 3v3 showcase match against the Washington Capitals in Washington, D.C.

-The Crunch is spending a lot of time helping out its community, too. The team released a list of events yesterday:

-One of those community initiatives is a first for the Crunch: a charity calendar featuring players and adoptable pets.

-The Lightning gave their honorary award for last week to none other than their captain, Steven Stamkos:

-The Crunch gave their own weekly award to Otto Somppi, who scored his first AHL goal last week.

-The Crunch celebrated the holidays with their season ticket holders last week. The front office showed off the night’s festivities in a summary video.

-Speaking of the Crunch’s season ticket holder holiday party, I spent a few minutes talking with Syracuse defenseman Cameron Guance about his Tickets For Teachers program. Crunch fans can nominate their favorite teacher to receive two tickets to a Syracuse Crunch home game. He told me that this is something he’s done in previous cities in order to better recognize educators, a section of the community that he feels may not get as much recognition as others. As an educator myself, it was lovely to speak with him about his program.

-The Orlando Solar Bears got a new roster last week, though it wasn’t necessarily by choice. Life in the ECHL can be a busy one, but if the goal is balancing rosters while getting results, Orlando did pretty well.

-The Philadelphia Flyers relieved Dave Hakstol of his duties as head coach yesterday. Scott Gordon, who was coaching the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms, took over as head coach on an interim basis.

-The Montreal Canadiens are finding success this season, something which has quite a few surprised. Greg Wyshynski, Emily Kaplan and more pondered their season and the reasons behind the excitement.

-The Colorado Avalanche might be inclined to make a move before the holiday roster freeze comes into play later on today. Tom Hunter broke down why and some potential trade partners over at Mile High Hockey.

They want to be a true contender in the Central Division, and the addition of a very good middle-six forward - especially one with a right-handed shot - would help the Avalanche achieve that goal. It may be early, and we might not see any new faces until February, but at some point Joe Sakic is almost certainly going to swing a trade. Why not get a leg up on the competition and do it before the roster freeze?

-All I really know about Dallas Stars defenseman Gavin Bayreuther is that he was sympathetic to Sean Shapiro’s loss of voice. That’s going to have to be enough for me. (pay walled)

-St. Louis Blues prospect Klim Kostin, currently with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, will join Team Russia at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships.

-Remember that thing I said last week about hockey writers living in the past all the time? Corey Pronman re-drafted the NHL’s 2013 draft for...some reason. What happened with Tampa’s picks? I have no idea, but if you have a subscription with The Athletic, you can find out!

-Old goalie masks really were terrifying. Good God.