Quick Strikes: The NHL puts a ring on it; Marty St. Louis gets HHOF ring

All the eligible Tampa Bay Lightning alumni put your hands up!

The Headline

Justin will be writing about this first thing today, but in short, yesterday the 2018 Hockey Hall of Fame class received their HHOF rings, including a certain Tampa Bay Lightning veteran named Martin St. Louis.

Our reporter in Toronto got some excellent photos of MSL’s plaque, as well as the man himself after he received his hardware. Keep your eye on the @rawcharge twitter line today to see what else Justin might find in Toronto for us! [Did he bring a William Nylander-sized suitcase?]

Bettman, Brodeur, rest of Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2018 get their rings [Globe and Mail]

St. Louis went from not being drafted to a 17-year NHL career that included 1,134 regular-season games, 1,033 points and a Hart Trophy as league MVP. The forward won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003-04 and was on Canada’s men’s Olympic team that brought home gold in 2014.

‘A surreal moment’: Hockey Hall of Fame class get their rings [Canadian Press]

Brodeur and St. Louis were eligible to be selected by the 18-member committee for the first time. Nominees require 75 per cent of the vote to make the cut.

Bettman, Brodeur get Hall of Fame festivities started with Class of 2018 [NHL.com]

”I’m just happy to have all my family and friends being around in one place,” St. Louis said. “I spend time with these guys sometimes, these guys sometimes, but now it’s almost like a wedding, everybody is all together. For me, it’s having my close people together and sharing my success one last time.”

The Bolts

Yesterday some of the most interesting reporting on the team was honestly by ... Raw Charge. Please note especially our rookie Lauren’s report on prospect Alexey Lipanov’s performance for Team Russia during the Canada-Russia series.

Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Mulligan: The 2008 NHL Entry Draft [Raw Charge]

The 2008 draft class is absolutely loaded with talent, especially on the blue line. Within our 20 pick range that we can consider, the players drafted have picked up two Stanley Cups, three Norris trophies, ten end of season All-Star nods, and a Calder Trophy. Not to mention the two Rocket Richards and two All-Star selections that Stamkos has picked up for himself.

Tampa Bay Lightning re-assign Cameron Gaunce to Syracuse Crunch, Matthew Spencer to Orlando Solar Bears [Raw Charge]

For the Syracuse Crunch, this is also good news as they return one of their best defensemen and a veteran on the blue line. The 28-year-old has a goal and an assist in six games for the Syracuse Crunch and also serves as one of the team’s alternate captains. The Orlando Solar Bears will also get a boost from Matthew Spencer joining them.

The good, the bad, and the confusing of Alexey Lipanov’s performance at the Canada-Russia series [Raw Charge]

As far as his transition game went, Lipanov was solid. He looked better when the play was moving north-south — when he was forced to sit in his own zone and defend, things looked a little shaky. However, Lipanov was all over the ice all game long. His smooth-skating carried him back and forth as every Russian breakout was stymied and sent reeling backwards. He would come back to support the defense in puck battles along the boards, and join the (short-lived) rush when Russia regained possession.

99-year-old WWII veteran shocks Amalie with National Anthem [Fox 13]

“When we finished singing, the applause was just downright thunderous,” McClintock said. “That kind of blew my mind.”

Honestly, it’s easy to figure out why Cooper would not want to be interviewed: How Jon Cooper and the Lightning are bucking the NHL trend [Tampa Bay Times]

Cooper, who declined to be interviewed for this story, said becoming the longest-tenured coach in the league wasn’t a good thing when it came at the expense of someone else in the coaching fraternity.

In their own words: Mathieu Joseph [Tampa Bay Lightning]

I didn’t realize right away I had scored. I think I had to take another look. You’re almost like, ‘Oh my goodness, is this really happening?’ I was obviously very happy to contribute to the win. It was a timely game-tying goal, and it was good for the momentum of the game.

The Prospects

Michael Bournival outskates pain, doubts in return to Syracuse Crunch [Syracuse.com]

Few players in the AHL are as vital to their team as Bournival, 26, is to the Crunch. He’s a fast, experienced points producer (15-19 in 57 games for Syracuse last season) who excels on the penalty kill and plays with an edge. He sets a high-end example with his dedication to the sport: Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said he’s been the most fit player in his last two camps with Tampa Bay.

Hey, we know this smiling guy!

And this guy!

The Game

Yesterday was not the worst for minorities in the NHL. Mr. Willie O’Ree got his ring from the Hockey Hall of Fame. And, in news that was personally important because I’m also half-Thai, the very first Thai NHL player set foot on the ice when the Washington Capitals’ Jonas Siegenthaler (his dad is Swiss) got called up for a game vs. the Blue Jackets.

Willie O’Ree’s legacy of resilience and forgiveness continues, even as he enters the Hall of Fame [The Athletic, paid content]

O’Ree overcame the barriers, both physical and societal, to become an NHL player at a time when there were but six NHL teams, and he did so having lost his sight in one eye courtesy of a deflected puck in the mid-1950s. He also had to face the kind of prejudice that has sadly driven many boys and girls from the sport over the years.

Also see this adorable story about how Siegenthaler had to quit his mom’s good Thai cooking to get back into fighting shape! Jonas Siegenthaler lost 24 pounds by cutting down on Thai food and potato chips [RMNB]

Watch the very first steps of a Thai man on NHL ice here.