Quick Strikes: Crane Collapse in Vancouver delays AHL team’s Bobblehead Giveaway in Syracuse

and Boyler is on the move again

The Bolts

What does the Maple Leafs signing Auston Matthews mean for the next generation of young stars needing contracts out of their entry-level deals? Yes, we are talking about Brayden Point. [Raw Charge]

This type of thinking will inevitably come to hockey. And possibly with even more vigor than baseball. Hockey has exactly the sort of restricted free agency and incentives to take advantage of cost controlled young players. And exacerbating the issue is the hard salary cap that doesn’t exist in baseball and tighter aging curves. Put that all together, and we can be confident that at some point in the near future, the thrift that has frozen MLB free agency will come the NHL.

Coach Jon Cooper and the rest of the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff invited Sports Illustrated to do an in-depth discovery of their inner workings. The pictures alone and incredible and worth the click. [Sports Illustrated]

It is half past midnight when Jon Cooper emerges from his office at Amalie Arena, necktie loosened under a dark-blue suit, sipping red wine out of a plastic cup stamped with the Lightning logo. He spies a nearby clock. “Ah, f---,” Tampa Bay’s 51-year-old coach says, an expletive that sounds more like a sigh.

Coop also stepped into the radio booth to share a few minutes with the Sirius XM NHL Network crew.

Andrei Vasilevskiy has gone from the shiny rookie to the black knight in one...well, night. Check out Vasy’s new black pads!

Putting Micah’s charts into quick context:
Red means lots of shots. Blue means no shots.
Top row is shots for. Bottom row is shots against.
The percentages are how much better a team is to the average team.
The Lightning are freaking fantastic (when they’re not up by one goal).

Ryan Callahan has been demoted out of the top-12 of the Bolts forward corps. It definitely came as a tough reality to both Callahan and to the fans that have watched him all these years. [Tampa Bay Times]

“Obviously, every guy in here wants to play 20 minutes, but at the end of the day we’re not all going to play 20 minutes,” Callahan said. “At the end of the day, you take what you’re going to play and you take your role. For me, I just try to execute it to the best that I can.”

Boyler news should never be shoved in “The Game” section of the Quick Strikes. It would be an injustice.

Brian Boyle has been traded from the non-playoff bound New Jersey Devils to the Nashville Predators. The return: once again, a second-round draft pick. Like every city that sees Boyler come and go, the Devils community ended this chapter sad for his departure, happy about the return, and just generally loved. [All About the Jersey]

“Was always a fan of him before he was here, and him joining the Devils only made me a bigger fan. Liked the signing when it first happened. He’s a great guy and has played his heart out for us the past two seasons. His hockey fights cancer night hat trick will probably be one of my favorite moments for a Devil for a bit. Probably one of the best moments since “Henrique! It’s over!” Can’t ask for much more from a guy.” - seanstep314

One last thing, the Edmonton Oilers are hoping — praying, really — to get Steve Yzerman as their president/GM. Lol, good luck with that.

The Prospects

Okay, you were promised cranes and bobbleheads. Here are the cranes. The bobbleheads might be late. [CBC British Columbia]

A large crane boom that collapsed onto a loaded container ship at the Port of Vancouver will need two huge floating cranes to remove it from where it fell Monday.

Early Monday the container ship Ever Summit struck a gantry crane while berthing and both the vessel and crane sustained damage, according to the Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident.

The crane collapsed across the ship’s containers. Wong says Global Container Terminals Vanterm has confirmed that none of the damaged containers contain hazardous cargo. [LIES! THOSE BOBBLEHEADS WERE FIRE].

On Wednesday night, the Syracuse Crunch walked away victorious in the shootout over the Rochester Americans. The win was the team’s seventh in the row, the point streak is the fourth-best current streak in the AHL (unless you want to count that Rochester has lost three times in their “winning streak”). [Syracuse]

Alex Volkov scored in the second round to secure a Crunch win, while goaltender Connor Ingram stopped both attempts. The victory builds a seven-game winning streak and moves the team to 28-13-2-1 on the season. The Crunch is now 2-2-1-0 in the 12-game series with the Amerks.

You Can Play night in Syracuse is February 16th! Don’t you dare miss it!

And a quick PSA from our friends over in Orlando.

The Game

Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu is out for the season with a meniscus tear in his right knee. As Lightning fans, we feel the pain. [NHL dot com]

Minnesota Wild General Manager Paul Fenton today announced that captain Mikko Koivu will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a tear of the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee during Tuesday’s game at Buffalo. Koivu is expected to have surgery to repair his knee on Friday.

What’s it like being a head coach in the AHL? Your job isn’t completely about winning, you can lose players on a whim, and you have to deal with a lot of players who don’t want to be there. Toronto Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe sat down with Matt Larkin to try and explain it. [The Hockey News]

One day, Carl Grundstrom is a key offensive contributor on a contending AHL team, etched in its history as a first-liner on the 2018 Calder Cup champion squad. The next day, he’s simply deleted from the lineup. He’s not replaced. From the perspective of the Toronto Marlies, a crucial player pretty much disappears into thin air. [Hardev’s Note: I wouldn’t say he was crucial, but ok].

The Ottawa Senators lost 5-4 to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, but it was Eugene Melnyk who once again stole the show, and it was about money. [Silver Seven Sens]

Now. I know what you’re thinking. What does this have to do with the game? But honestly, is there anyone in this organization not named Eugene Melnyk? Is there any sphere related to this team that he does not influence? Does the team even exist? Do the players? Are they all just figments of our imagination that we invented in order to cope with the crushing reality of being bound to a franchise owned by Eugene Melnyk?

Lastly, also in Ottawa, they made a minor trade with the Colorado Avalanche. [Mile High Hockey]

McCormick comes to Colorado with 14 NHL games under his belt this season, so it’s possible that the former Ohio State standout — whom the Senators picked up as a sixth-round draft pick in 2011 out of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers — was brought on board to give the team a little bit more flexibility with recalls and pro experience. He picked up just one goal in those 14 games, but has ultimately managed to amass six goals and 10 points in total over 71 career games so far.

Highlight of the Night: This is without the money and attention weighing him down!