HFNHL Lightning Getting Ready to Strike

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Canuck09, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Canuck09

    Canuck09 Registered User

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    It's been a long time coming but this could be the first season in a long time that the Tampa Bay Lightning aren't complete pushovers. This years team will be the deepest and most well balanced during GM Jeff Kirk's tenure. While far from contenders the Lightning look to take a step in the right direction thanks to the emergence of promising youngsters Auston Matthews & Patrik Laine, the FA addition of veteran star Henrik Zetterberg and the trade for Jake Gardiner.

    Up front the team features the aforementioned Zetterberg, Matthews & Laine, complementary players like Tyler Toffoli, Victor Rask & Brendan Gallagher plus a variety of interchangeable players that could lead to a lot of line juggling throughout the season. One of the biggest early season debates will be whether to play youngsters Matthews & Laine, two of the top scoring players in the league, on the same line or to create a balanced attack with two scoring lines. Youngsters like Teuvo Teravainen, Sam Bennett, Markus Granlund and Calle Jarnkrok plus veterans Matt Stajan and Kyle Brodziak will fit into various bottom 6 roles. Marian Gaborik and Matt Moulson appear to be on the outside looking in at this point and may spend parts of the season in the press box.

    On defense the team has added four new players to the lineup that already included Seth Jones and Adam Larsson giving them a very competitive group. Talented rookie Ivan Provorov will likely jump straight to the top pair and offseason trade acquisition Jake Gardiner will give the PP a boost. Mark Pysyk (RFA offer sheet) and Greg Pateryn (UFA) were both brought in as FA's in the summer.

    In net promising Russian Andrei Vasilevskiy took another step towards becoming a full time starter but veteran Jonathan Bernier was brought in to ease pressure. Look for them to split games for most the season.

    The projected opening day roster is:

    Laine - Zetterberg - Toffoli
    Granlund - Matthews - Teravainen
    Jarnkrok - Rask - Gallagher
    Bennett - Stajan - Brodziak
    Extras: Marian Gaborik, Matt Moulson

    Jones - Provorov
    Larsson - Gardiner
    Pysyk - Pateryn
    Extras: Prosser

    Vasilevskiy
    Bernier

    Rumour is the Lightning have been looking to add a top 6 playmaker to partner up with Auston Matthews and another defender to solidify the bottom pair so don't be surprised if things change early in the season.
     
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  2. CopperAndBlueGM

    CopperAndBlueGM Registered User

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    Thanks is a scary group of forwards. Gaborik and Moulson as 'Extras'? Help!

    Well done.
     
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  3. Canuck09

    Canuck09 Registered User

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    While not a top 6 playmaker or defender, Tampa has acquired Luke Glendening from the expansion Golden Knights in exchange for Matt Moulson and prospect Blake Siebenaler. Glendening is expected to play a bottom 6 role and lead the PK thanks to his strong defensive abilities. This addition likely bumps Sam Bennett from the lineup pending any further trades.

    The search is still on for a top 6 contributor. If you have one up for grabs let me know.
     
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  4. Canuck09

    Canuck09 Registered User

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    After a strong preseason Tampa management is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season. Bolstering this optimism is the addition of veteran defender Dan Hamhuis who's expected to provide stability on the 3rd pair and PK. Along with Hamhuis Tampa also acquired depth forward Matt Beleskey, who will serve as the 14th forward, in exchange for a 4th round pick and prospect Mason Geertsen.

    Tampa opens its HFNHL season tonight with a home & home series against their division rival Florida Panthers. What better way to see where they stand than face the perennial contenders. The opening night lines appear to be:

    Laine - Zetterberg - Toffoli
    Granlund - Matthews - Teravainen
    Jarnkrok - Rask - Gallagher
    Glendening - Stajan - Brodziak

    Jones - Provorov
    Larsson - Gardiner
    Pysyk - Hamhuis

    Vasilevskiy
    Bernier
     
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