Quick Strikes: The All-Star Game will bring a ‘tsunami of tourists’ to Tampa Bay

And we’ll welcome them like ice welcomes catfish.

The Bolts

Steve Mayer believes the Tampa Bay Lightning will be the perfect hosts for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game.

Another take on the All-Star Game that's going to bring a huge injection of vitality to our already vital city. "A potential tsunami of tourists could be in store for Tampa when the National Hockey League's All-Star Game is held on the same weekend in January as the Gasparilla parade. But NHL and city officials are saying they'll be prepared." [WUSF News]

BoltsGuy04 is back with his idea for a new playoff system, one that wouldn't (for example) eliminate Washington in the second round. "Playoff games will be just as intense if the Lightning are playing Atlantic Division rival Montréal or if they’re playing the Capitals of the Metropolitan Division. Below, I’ve proposed a new playoff format." [Raw Charge]

We're continuing our June series that breaks down how TBL did against every team last season. Yesterday was Buffalo. "Buffalo mostly helped the Lightning this year by being a not very good team that gave the Lightning eight much-needed points in the standings. But if we’re going to talk about the Lightning playing the Sabres this year, we really only need to talk about one thing. That time Nikita Kucherov ended Robin Lehner’s life during a shootout." [Raw Charge]

John returned from retirement to write a short piece about social media and Tampa Bay. “The Lightning franchise and its outreach can’t be seen as part of the issue; between the high-quality efforts the club undertakes socially as well as its broader outreach to the Tampa Bay metroplex in growing the game, the team has it right.” [Raw Charge]

The Crunch

It isn’t easy coming back from a 0-2 series deficit, but the Syracuse Crunch has three games at home this week against the Grand Rapids Griffins to be able to do it. The Crunch is 9-0 at home this post season. [Syracuse.com]

Memorabilia collectors need to start thinking about grabbing a piece of Calder Cup history: The AHL has started their Calder Cup Finals jersey auction. [The AHL]

Saturday’s Calder Cup Finals game 2 was an intense contest for both the Crunch and the Griffins, but it was also a fairly historical game for the AHL:

The local Syracuse paper is making a nice effort to support their hometown team, something that’s usually only reserved for the likes of Syracuse University:

Goalie Connor Ingram is currently travelling with the team as a black ace which means he attends practices and has a lot of down time. Apparently, he’s using his free time wisely.

The Prospects

It’s combine time in Buffalo, and a few good journalists are watching young men ride the vomit bikes. All eyes are on them, of course, to see who might rise and who might fall. Who does Tampa Bay want?

Mathieu Josephs’ little brother, perhaps?

John Vogl wrote about whether Juuso Valimaki might be a good fit in Buffalo (Geo wrote that he’d be an even better fit in Tampa Bay). He sounds intriguing, and also idolizes Victor Hedman. “Valimaki may be the closest to the NHL. He’s 6-foot-2, 204 pounds and had 19 goals and 61 points in 60 games for Tri-City of the Western Hockey League. ‘I’m trying to be like Victor Hedman,’ Valimaki said. ‘A team who needs a D-man, it’d be nice to go to a team like that, obviously, to maybe get ice time early or maybe get to the NHL a little earlier. But I’d be honored to go anywhere.’” [Buffalo News]

Scott Wheeler at PPP wrote about the Finnish Draft Invasion. Will Tampa Bay draft a Finn? There's a high likelihood, given how many there are at the draft. "When you walked through the concourse of Buffalo’s HarborCenter rink at this week’s NHL Scouting Combine, you’d be easily convinced if someone said it was actually just a reunion for Finland’s dominant under-18 and under-17 national teams of the last couple of years.” [Pension Plan Puppets]

The Game

The AHL continues to be a driving force in the NHL:

Is it time for another former Lightning leader to land a head coaching job in the NHL? Rick Tocchet is focused on winning another Stanley Cup with the Penguins, but is also open to “another kick at the can”. Hey, he did get the best out of Steve Downie.  [TSN]

Speaking of slashing, the NHL competition committee will reportedly look at trying to curtail the number of slashes to the hands next season.  That seems like a reasonably good idea.  Bold prediction - the season starts with a rash of slashing calls and then it slowly tapers off as the season meanders on.  Oh, and they’ll take a look at the offside reviews. A review of the review, if you will.  [Sportsnet]

Evgeni Malkin realizes just in the nick of time that breaking a stick over a fans head probably wouldn’t be a smart move during the Stanley Cup fans.  It’s also not smart to throw things at players.  It’s dangerous.  Plus if you don’t want your rally towel, sell it on eBay.  Be smarter people.  [Yahoo Sports]  Caution - some NSFW language on the image in the link.

Hopefully Nikita Nesterov isn’t planning on throwing this on the ice. According to his Instagram feed, the former Lightning defender has been having a fairly solid summer.

Fishing! What are you doing today?

A post shared by NikitaNesterov (@nikitanesterov_official) on