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Weekend Edition: Aug 2; #Tampacuse, Bryz practices in Sweden, NHL in Seattle

Local (Lightning)

Yzerman counts on AHL players to boost Lightning | Tampa Bay Times
#Tampacuse guys making the team, salary cap math, Yzerman talks Frantz Jean and David Alexander, and other odds and ends, including the words “training camp next month,” which set my little heart to fluttering.

C.H.A.R.G.E. Becomes a Win-Win for the Community, Lightning Staff – Features
Players aren’t the only ones who are involved in charitable work. As a whole, Lightning staff have donated thousands of hours.

Weekly Best of the Web: July 26th Edition – Features
Catch up on some of the team’s offseason doings with Missy Zielinski, the Lightning’s new beat reporter.

Teddy Purcell has a golf tournament every year, if you weren’t aware. Naturally lots of Bolts attend. And there on the left is a face that I still miss.

National (NHL)
Messier admits to being stunned by hockey survey results
In order to reverse a decline in participation in hockey among Canadian kids, Bauer and Hockey Canada are teaming up to put on some lower-cost programs that they hope will bring more kids in. “Messier said it’s important for kids to have alternate places to play other than rep or travel leagues. “We don’t want to make our kids feel like they’re failures because that (rep, AAA) isn’t for them or they’re not ready for that,” he said. “Right now there’s not a real soft place for them to land if they don’t make that but still love the game.”

Wild’s Harding learns to live with MS, launches charity to help raise awareness – The Hockey News
Josh Harding has started Harding’s Hope to help people with Multiple Sclerosis. When the NHLPA held their annual charity golf tournament, two former Lightning players were on his team, Dominic Moore and Dwayne Roloson (who also used to play for the Minnesota Wild).

The benefits of Benoit Pouliot, or cutting waste at the bottom of a lineup | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com
Many of us were perplexed when the Lightning let Benoit Pouliot go to waste as a frequent healthy scratch this past season and then let him walk in the offseason. A decent possession guy with a low cap hit and some offense. What’s not to like? I suppose that with the young’uns coming up for 2013-14, you have to make room. But I never did hear any other reasonable explanation for his usage (or lack thereof.)

NHL goalie rankings: Is Luongo still elite? – Sportsnet.ca
I’ve recently discovered that ranking goalies is apparently big business these days. It’s pretty strange to me. Other than putting Henrik Lunqvist at the top of the list and Quick, Rask and Rinne somewhere in the top five, pretty much all the rest move around a lot.

NHL goalie rankings: Reimer the top backup? – Sportsnet.ca
And look! We can rank backup goalies, too!

International (Europe & World)

Russian Official Says Gay Olympic Athletes Will Be Subject to Arrest
This is going to be an increasingly important storyline as the Olympics near. Will homosexual athletes and fans in Russia for the games really be detained? And as this gets bigger and bigger, how will individual athletes respond? No one realistically expects any involved nations to institute a boycott over the issue of gay rights (which isn’t to say that the world ought to work this way, just that it does). But do individuals take a stand and, if so, what’s the most effective kind of action?

Report: Ilya Bryzgalov headed to Sweden to train with SHL team – CBSSports.com
Everyone’s favorite space nut is going to be working with Swedish goaltender wizard Erik Granqvist.

Translation: Bryzgalov and his agent Ritch Winter heard of me and asked if I could work with them. Instead of going to Moscow he would come to Karlstad for a week and FBK agreed. We always have three goalies in training camp so this will work perfect with PW (Frederik Pettersson Wentzel), Danny Taylor, and Byrzgalov on the ice.

Business (Business)

CBC’s exclusive window to extend NHL deal closing | ProHockeyTalk
They might get priced out of broadcasting rights.

Phoenix Coyotes buyers may be running into financial challenges – Phoenix Business Journal
Remember when I said it would never end? Still hasn’t.

Seattle NHL expansion pushed by Gary Bettman for 2014-2015 season? | Puck Daddy – Yahoo! Sports
Puck Daddy tackles the rumors and their validity.

Why Seattle is the Next Great Hockey Town: NHL to Seattle News | BostInno
An organizer of the campaign for a team in Seattle makes his case.

Timing bizarre on NHL Seattle expansion rumors (Trending Topics) | Puck Daddy – Yahoo! Sports
Ryan Lambert finds it “weird” that Seattle expansion talk heats up just as the Phoenix ownership saga hits another bump. Don’t we all?

The Market (Numbers)

Machine Learning and Hockey: Is there a theoretical limit on predictions? | NHLNumbers.com
Josh W at nhlnumbers.com does a rigorous analysis to determine how much of the NHL standings are based on “luck” (again, “luck” really means “randomness”) and confirms that it’s about 38%. That means that doing everything right is only about 60% of the game.


Good-bye, Steve Sullivan! Fans of Karmic Payback Will Miss You! – The Triangle Blog – Grantland
Steve Sullivan is one of my all-time favorite guys. I have only missed one major Sully moment from his time in Nashville, and that was when the stars all aligned and the Coyotes just happened to be in Nashville for his 1000th game. This amazing exchange between Sully and an opposing fan is just one reason why he’s so high on my good list.

Kyle Alexander (Lightning101.com Lightning101, tblightning101.com-Edit note: sorry for the mixup), who’s actually been productive this offseason unlike me, was doing research on Radko Gudas and learned some new things:

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