Quick Strikes: Tyler Johnson, “There was no question in my mind that I wanted to be in Tampa”

Tyler Johnson talks about his new deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning, several players have fun in Norfolk, and the Syracuse Crunch release their schedule for next season.

The Bolts

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson recently inked a 7-year extension worth $35 million. “We’ve been talking for about a year now,” Johnson told Tampa Bay’s 620 WDAE during a Tuesday afternoon radio interview. “We had a pretty good understanding of what was going to happen. Obviously we had to figure a few things out, but for the most part it was pretty easy for us. We knew the direction we wanted to be right from the get go. Steve said he wanted me here. There was no question in my mind that I wanted to be in Tampa.” [FanRag Sports]

Is Johnson’s deal with the Lightning a steal or an anchor? “If Johnson can return to the form that he showed three years ago even for a couple of seasons, the Lighting will have a steal on their hands. If he can be a consistent 50-60-point player, they will have signed a good deal. But if Johnson regresses further, particularly if Jonathan Drouin blossoms and becomes an offensive star in Montreal, Yzerman will have to cross his fingers (and his toes) in the hopes that Mikhail Sergachev turns out to be worth moving Drouin.” [The Hockey News]

Johnson is one of several Bolts who played for the 2012 Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, a team that went on a 28-game winning streak on their way to the Calder Cup. Johnson joined Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Jon Cooper, Cory Conacher, and several other NHL players in Norfolk to celebrate the fifth anniversary of that special season.

5 year reunion #norfolkadmirals 👍

A post shared by #18 Ondrej Palat (@pally_18) on

Some things never change #5yearreunion

A post shared by Tyler Johnson (@tjohnny09) on

This upcoming season with be the 25th anniversary of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey. The team has chosen a beautiful theme to represent the milestone.

Top 25 Under 25

Top 25 Under 25, #19: Dominik Masin enters his second pro year in Syracuse hoping to show growth after an underwhelming first season — “He’ll be counted on to fill top four minutes and with a slew of young skill up front, he’ll undoubtedly get plenty of opportunities to join the rush on offense and shine defensively as the team is likely to play at a fast pace.” [Raw Charge]

Top 25 Under 25, #20: Daniel Walcott is looking to make the most of his final ELC year — “Walcott has always been a versatile player with that healthy dose of grit that this organization seems to appreciate. He’s also always been a charismatic character guy, well-liked and looked up to wherever he has played.” [Raw Charge]

Top 25 Under 25, #21: Connor Ingram is the first goalie to make the list -- "Is Ingram a good goaltender who still has some maturing to do to be mentally tough enough for international attention? Perhaps. When he returned to the Blazers from the WJC, Ingram brought the team to playoffs, and had an SV% of .946 before the Rockets were eliminated in six games. Whatever went wrong, it was not likely due to Ingram, who also earned the best regular-season SV% in the WHL." [Raw Charge]

The Crunch

“The Tampa Bay Lightning has hired current volunteer goalie coach for the University of North Dakota and former Syracuse Crunch player Karl Goehring. Goehring has been working with UND for the past six years, and most recently earned a lot of attention because of his work with [Boston Bruins goalie prospect] Zane McIntyre when he went through the program.” [Raw Charge]

Syracuse Crunch release 2017-2018 regular season schedule. “Syracuse will open their 24th season of play on the road as they begin the front end of a home-and-home series with the Rochester Americans on October 6th. They round out that series on October 7th at the War Memorial Arena where the team will raise their two banners from this past season’s accomplishments: their 2017 North Division championship and the aforementioned Conference championship.” [Raw Charge]

The Game

“The New York Islanders and restricted free agent goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis agreed to terms on Tuesday on a one-year, two-way contract according to the team. The Islanders acquired Gudlevskis from the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer in exchange for Carter Verhaeghe.” [NBC Sports]

Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano was saluted Tuesday as the winner of ESPN’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, the first recipient since it was renamed for the legendary boxing champion. “I am so incredibly honoured to receive this award,” Giordano said in a statement. “To be mentioned in the same sentence as Muhammad Ali is something I could never imagine. Mr. Ali was more than just an athlete. He was a global icon that led numerous humanitarian efforts to better the lives of thousands around the world.” [Calgary Herald]

Behind the scenes of the Ilya Kovalchuk mess. “Was there a deal to be made to bring Kovalchuk back to the NHL in 2017? Quite possibly. But not one that Kovalchuk preferred to the alternative of a year in the KHL, the Olympics and total freedom next summer.” [Puck Daddy]