Quick Strikes: Tyler Johnson will miss the rest of preseason and Shea Theodore signs a big extension in Vegas

Tyler Johnson is injured and might not be ready for opening night

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson will miss the remainder of the preseason due to an upper body injury according to several reports. The team didn’t provide any more detail than that.

Head coach Jon Cooper expressed hope that Johnson would be ready to return the lineup by opening night.

The injury opens more playing time for other forwards in camp. If Johnson isn’t able to return for opening night, that would potentially create a spot for one of the younger forwards to start the season in Tampa.

Geo will have a full breakdown of the implication of the injury for the rest of the forward group later this morning.

Joe Smith wrote a fun article at The Athletic (paywall) where he talked to Alex Volkov about how he has adjusted to life in North America. It had some fun tidbits about how different players made the transition.

Kucherov said he used TV shows like Shameless and The Walking Dead to learn the language. Same with Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman, who watched a lot of movies when he was drafted back in 2009. “(National Lampoon’s) Christmas Vacation was a big one,” Hedman said. Fellow Swede Anton Stralman would read books on charter flights (and still does), picking up different words each time.

Kuch learning to speak English from The Walking Dead makes perfect sense. And I like to imagine Victor Hedman practicing Chevy Chase’s Jelly of the Month Club soliloquy (spoiler alert).

Greg Wyshinkski ranked all 31 teams by their forwards and you’ll never guess who came first. Why, the Tampa Bay Lightning of course.

We’re pretty sure you could put a 54-year-old Dave Andreychuk on the wing next to Steven Stamkos (27 goals, 59 assists) and Nikita Kucherov (39 goals, 61 assists) and he’d score 30 goals. As it stands, J.T. Miller (18 points in 19 games) will likely get the nod. The Lightning led the league in goals as a team (296) last season because their offense was spread throughout the lineup. Brayden Point (32 goals), Yanni Gourde (25 goals), Tyler Johnson (21 goals), Alex Killorn (15) and Ondrej Palat (11) all contributed to that total. Anthony Cirelli, Cedric Paquette, Adam Erne, Andy Andreoff and Cory Conacher lend support. Then there’s Ryan Callahan, whenever he returns from injury. Arguably the deepest forward group in the league.

The Prospects

The Syracuse Crunch officially open training camp today. Last year, the Crunch surprised the rest of the league by emerging as one of the best teams in the AHL over the second half of the season. This year, they won’t surprise anyone. They have an impressive mix of veterans and prospects and the expectations are high.

Everyone on waivers yesterday cleared. That includes five players headed from Tampa to Syracuse. Goalie Eddie Pasquale, defender Cam Guance, and forwards Carter Verhaeghe, Andy Andreoff, and Gabriel Dumont will all be in camp today. Andreoff and Dumont were both risks to be claimed and their arrival in Syracuse is a welcome site for Crunch fans.

The team is likely to rely heavily on first and second year players so having two experienced productive players like Dumont and Andreoff to serve as leaders will be key to the team’s success.

The Solar Bears are bringing Brent Pedersen into camp. The left winger put up nearly a point per game last season playing for Laurentian University. He was the leading scorer on the team and was an alternate captain.

The Game

Shea Theodore signed a big seven-year extension for $5.2 million per year with the Vegas Golden Knights late last night. The term and dollar amount are much higher than most expected. Theodore has only played 114 NHL games and seemed destined for a bridge contract that would give the team a better idea of who he is as a player.

He had middling results prior to his breakout last season when he scored like a top pairing defender. And even last year, he was only break even in his impact on shots while he was on the ice. Vegas is gambling that the scoring will stick and that his shot impacts will improve.

Brian Gionta announced his retirement yesterday.

“I don’t really feel my career warrants a formal announcement, but we are here anyways. So I am announcing my retirement here today and at the same time looking forward to spending some time with the family and also taking a small part within the (Sabres) organization. I’m really looking forward to the next stage of my career,” Gionta said.

He’ll be remembered most for his size. At just 5’7”, he is one of the players responsible for changing the perception of undersized players in the NHL. He played over 1000 games after making his debut in New Jersey in 2001-2002. He had his best season in 2005-2006 scoring 89 points in 82 games.

Luca Sbisa didn’t retire yesterday. Instead, the Islanders signed him to a one-year contract for $1.5 million.

The Islanders are building quite the collection of...uhhhhh....let’s call them...experienced players. They’re either having one of the worst offseasons in recent memory or putting together a solid tank. Unfortunately, with Lou Lamoriello in charge, it’s hard to know which it is.

The list of players on waivers is again long and underwhelming. Not much to speculate about here and all will likely clear like they did yesterday. Although, (Letterkenny voice) to be fair, last time I said that the Lightning claimed Danick Martel.

Kylo Okposo talked with The Athletic for an in depth piece about his recovery from a concussion. His story illustrates that the severity of the initial contact isn’t indicative of the severity of the symptoms. He took what he thought was a normal hit and soon ended up with a severe head injury that required months and months of recovery.

If you’re interested in hockey analytics, make time for Micah McCurdy’s article on his new model.

The most sophisticated element of Magnus is the method for estimating the marginal effect of a given player on shot rates; that is, that portion of what happens when they are on the ice that can be attributed to their individual play and not the context in which they are placed. We know that players are affected by their teammates, by their opponents, by the zones their coaches deploy them in, and by the prevailing score while they play. Thus, I try to isolate the impact of a given player on the shots which are taken and where they are taken from.

The outputs of this new model are nifty heatmaps that show how much credit players deserve for their results. For example, here is Nikita Kucherov.

The raw impacts are what happens when he’s on the ice. The isolated impacts are what he’s responsible for. He’s a break even defensive player and a huge plus offensively. The teammates impact is how much his teammates are responsible for. They provide a boost on offense and defense. The opponent impact is how much his opponents are responsible for. He typically faces slightly below average offensive players and poor defensive players. And so on for the rest of the contextual factors.