Quick Strikes: Lightning sign Boris Katchouk to Entry-Level Contract

Tampa Bay Lightning sign their 2016 second round draft pick, Vinik is a hero in Tampa, and the Kalamazoo Wings win to force a Game 7.

The Bolts

The Tampa Bay Lightning inked Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Boris Katchouk to a three-year entry level contract. Katchouk had a strong season for the Greyhounds, racking up 64 points (35 G, 29 A) across 66 regular season games and an additional 13 points (8 G, 5 A) in 11 playoff games. Katchouk joined Mitchell Stephens on the Syracuse Crunch roster last week.

“Never one to hide his emotions, Boris Katchouk made it abundantly clear what signing his first NHL contract meant to him. ‘I’m super thrilled. I’m pumped,’ said the 18-year-old Kitchener native... Katchouk explained how proud he is ‘to be part of a Tampa Bay organization that’s approaching it’s time to win a championship. My goal is to be in the NHL and contribute to this organization as soon as possible.’” [Sault Star]

We are incredibly fortunate to have Jeff Vinik as the owner of the Bolts. “It was Vinik who saved hockey in Tampa Bay. What he has done not only for the Lightning organization but the Tampa Bay community as a whole is nothing short of a miracle. Vinik completely overhauled the Lightning, inside and out. He rebranded the team with a new, simplified logo and poured millions of dollars for renovations into Amalie Arena, to keep fans happy and to keep the destination on the map.” [Raw Charge]

Tampa Bay Times beat writer Joe Smith offered his perspective on several interesting issues facing the Lightning this off-season. “While Tampa Bay has turned its attention to preparing for June's amateur and expansion drafts, there are plenty of other Lightning story lines to follow. So I took your questions on Twitter for this weekend's mailbag.” [Tampa Bay Times]

Looks like Ryan Callahan went fishing yesterday, but had to catch and release. We’re guessing he stopped by Arby’s on his way home.

The Prospects

If you live in the Syracuse area, you can buy tickets to watch the Crunch take on the St. John’s IceCaps at the War Memorial Arena later this week. The best-of-five series is tied 1-1 and promises to be an exciting match-up for fans to watch.

As a side note, the “FIN15H” motto refers to the fact that it takes 15 wins to get the Calder Cup - the AHL’s ultimate prize.

Brian Hart (#27 in red) scored a goal and Cameron Darcy (#13) picked up an assist as the Kalamazoo Wings defeated the Toledo Walleye 4-3. The series is tied at 3-3. Game 7 will be played in Toledo tomorrow night. “In a series that many thought would be over after four games, the Kalamazoo Wings have found a way to keep playing.” [Raw Charge]

The Game

What a huge year for the USF Ice Bulls, including their first trip to Nationals. We’re happy to see them get recognized for their hard work and dedication. We look forward to watching them grow even more next year!

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin has the difficult task of trying to convince Carey Price to stay with the Habs past next season. “Suddenly his best player is a year away from free agency, and Bergevin needs to convince Price it is worth staying in Montreal, that this over-reliance on his ability will change. Finding evidence for that argument will be difficult.” [NHL]

“The Los Angeles Kings, who have been all about stability and continuity for so long, made a choice that was all about stability and continuity behind the bench. The Kings made it official this morning, John Stevens. LA never expanded their search beyond Stevens, which is going to draw some criticism. After all, firing your head coach and general manager only to hire their assistants isn’t the boldest move to drive change.” [Jewels From the Crown]