Some quick news and notes:
-The Lightning have extended qualifying offers to five restricted free agents. Defensemen Brian Lee, Keith Aulie, Evan Oberg, Brendan Mikkelson and goaltender Jaroslav Janus received offers. Goalie Anders Lindback received his qualifying offer from Nashville before being traded to Tampa Bay. Defenseman Sebastien Piche and forward Benoit Pouliot did not receive offers.
According to Bolts beat reporter Erik Erlendsson, GM Steve Yzerman has held discussions for new contracts for Lee and Aulie as well as Lindback, while assistant general manager Julien BriseBois has been in discussions with the agent for Janus.
-Tampa Bay drafted eight players in the NHL Entry Draft.
Third Round: Number 71 – Center Tanner Richard.
Fourth Round: Number 101 – Center Cedric Paquette.
Sixth Round: Number 161 – Defenseman Jake Dotchin.
Seventh Round: Number 202 – Left Wing Nikita Gusev.
-The NHL released the Lightning’s 20th anniversary, 2012-13 balanced schedule and here are some highlights:
The team will open on the road against the Florida Panthers before returning home, playing nine of its first 13 games at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The longest home stand consists of six games, March 7-18. There are no extended road trips. The longest road trip is four games, which the Bolts will do three times during the season.Tampa Bay will play back-to-back games 13 times with ten of those being on the road.
You can view the 2012-13 schedule here.
About the Author: WB Philp is a published hockey writer who has a built in disdain for Barry Melrose. He covered the Detroit sports teams for many years until he came to his senses and moved to the Sunshine State. He is a true puckhead on a mission from God (Gordie Howe) to make hockey relevant in the south. He lives in Hockey Bay USA and covers the Lightning full time. Did I mention he hates Barry Melrose?