Alright, we've had our day of mourning.
The 2022-23 Tampa Bay Lightning season is over. Sure, it's a lot earlier than any of us had hoped for, but it is what it is. So we move forward, right? Over the last few seasons the down time between the end of the season and the draft and then free agency was quite short. This year, we have some breathing distance to reflect on the season, so that's what you'll be seeing here at Raw Charge over the next couple of weeks.
Despite the fact that the Lightning don't currently have a pick until the sixth round, we will be covering the draft. It's supposed to be a pretty gone so we should pay attention to it. Then it's free agency, and while the Lightning are a little strapped for cap space, Julien BriseBois always has a few moves up his sleeve.
While there will be a few news faces on the roster next year, there are plenty of familiar ones that will be hanging around. In the direct aftermath of the loss, it's tough to remember that the Lightning are still one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. They should still be in the mix next season.
We'll be around to cover all of the moves as they happen.
It's been an incredible run, but future is uncertain [Tampa Bay Times]
We've always known that this summer was going to be another tough one, we were just hoping that there would be another Cup in the cabinet to make it worthwhile.
Lightning run comes to a dramatic win [Lightning Insider - Subscription Required]
Erik Erlendsson wraps up the Game 6 loss.
Lightning left with 'empty feeling' following loss [NHL.com]
Much like the fans, the Lightning aren't quite sure what to do after getting eliminated in first round. It's been awhile since they've had this much free time.
The Post Game Interviews:
Crunch shutout in Game 4 [The AHL]
Malcolm Subban stopped all 31 Syracuse shots in Rochester's 4-0 win. Both teams have held serve at home so far in the series. The good news is that the deciding Game 5 is at home for the Crunch. They will also have Gabe Dumont back in the line-up.
Nikita Gusev terminates contract with SKA St. Petersburg [Team Website -translated]
The former Lightning draft pick and his current team have agreed to terminate his contract, allowing him to become a free agent. Could he be on his way back to the NHL? In two seasons with the Devils and Panthers, Gusev put up 54 points (17 goals, 37 assists) in 97 games. Now 30-years-old he could provided some depth scoring for a team.
Questions swirl around Winnipeg Jets [Sportsnet]
Kevin Cheveldayoff will remain the general manager. Everything else is probably up for grabs.
Team USA wins Mens' U18 World Championship [Team USA]
The US rolled through the tournament with a 7-0-0-0 record, capping things off with a 3-2 (OT) win over Sweden. Ryan Leonard scored the game-winner at the 2:20 mark. Will Smith, a Boston College commit, was the tournament MVP.
Florida Panthers 4-3 (OT) over Boston Bruins - Florida wins series 4-3
Welcome to the club, Bruins fans. What club is that? The club made up of teams that set regular season records only to be kicked to the curb in the first round by Sergei Bobrovsky. Old friend Carter Verhaeghe ended things midway through the first overtime period to sen the Bruins packing. Florida will take on Toronto in the next round.
Seattle Kraken 2-1 over Colorado Avalanche - Seattle wins the series 4-3
How about that. Seattle went and did the thing. Two goals from Oliver Bjorkstrand and 33 saves from Phillip Grubauer were the difference. Old friend Yanni Gourde had two helpers as the Kraken ensure that there will be a new Stanley Cup champion this year by eliminating the defending champs.