“When it all comes down, will you say you did everything you could?” Chicago punk outfits do relate to hockey. I swear. Protect. One word – boundless – and infinite- in its complexity and relevance to sport.
Tim McIlrath’s words, while referencing the place we call home, apply to the team Bolts fans call “us.” “We.” Now, it’s time for the Bolts to protect what’s theirs.
Gritty, dedicated forward Barclay Goodrow’s departure from the aforementioned Lightning may have come as a shock to casual Lightning fans. Ahead of the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, however, this move makes a world of sense. Goodrow was the definition of expendable.
Steve Yzerman’s best move as GM may have been bringing in the man who now holds his former position. Julien Brisebois managed to bring in a seventh round pick for a player who was an instrumental part of his team winning back-to-back Stanley Cups
Let’s get Kraken
Back to business. Goodrow aside, the Lightning are bound to lose another piece. Every NHL team is in that particular predicament. So… Who goes? We’ll get to that later. For now, let’s take a page from the Montreal Canadiens’ book and head home.
Below is a full-on list of those who will not be packing their bags for the Emerald City. The Space Needle can wait, boys. We’ve got business to take care of in Tampa.
Protected: Anthony Cirelli: Grit, guts n’ timely scoring
“Tony!” It’s become a popular rally cry in Tampa Bay, and for good reason. The Lightning centerman is one heck of a hockey player.
Good centermen who are solid in the cicle do not grow on trees. Cirelli wins faceoffs, and – as you may remember – can score too, in big moments.
Protected: Nikita Kucherov: Number one B*******
Fret not Lightning fans, Kuch is here to stay. Him leaving would be absolute number-one ‘B*’ Especially following a legendary interview following the Lightning’s Cup victory mere weeks ago.
— BarDown (@BarDown) July 12, 2021
But, focusing on his play, this man is a warrior. A sniper. A Hart trophy winner. You don’t lose that. End of story. The Bolts protecting him was an absolute no-brainer, regardless of how many beers he’s poured on a reporter’s head.
Protected: Brayden Point: Point taken
Brayden Point is basically Anthony Cirelli in a lot of ways. In fact, I fool you not, they actually both weigh exactly 182 pounds, according to Google. True story.
While their games differ, both thrive on hard work, Point obviously having more god-given hands and skill. In all legitimacy, via nhl.com, Point and Cirelli have almost identical face-off percentages. 49.13 for Cirelli, 49.42 Point in 2020-21.
Point being, this Canuck, like Cirelli, is worth keeping around.
Protected: Steven Stamkos: O’ Captain, my Captain
Captain of the team. Played through indescribable pain to win his first Cup for three shifts. Then, didn’t miss a single second en route to his second.
Protected: Back end warriors: Ryan McDonagh, Erik Cernak, Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev
Defencemen of Victor Hedman’s caliber are rare. However, Mikhail Sergachev is trending in a fabulous direction. His vision, speed, and ability to get pucks on net made protecting him an easy decision for the Bolts.
Cernak has come a long way in the past two seasons. Gordie Howe hat-trick to his name – he can play.
Meanwhile, McDonagh is your typical workhorse, shot-blocking D-man with a heart on his sleeve and one heck of a shot.
Protected: The Big Cat. Andrei gosh darn Vasilevskiy
The numbers speak for themselves. The legacy does likewise. Vasilevskiy will not be leaving the Bolts net for a long while. That is, if he can get the Conn Smythe trophy off his head.
— 𝐽𝐸𝑁 𝑀𝐴𝐶𝐾 🧀 (@BigMack_4) July 12, 2021
Next stop? Seattle
With the draft inching closer, there is plenty of speculation over who will ship off to Seattle out of the Bay – but again – that’s a story for another day.
- Without Kucherov, Lightning lay another egg on home ice October 19, 2021
- Penalty kill perfection leads to overtime heroics for Lightning in DC October 16, 2021
- Lightning rebound with a frantic comeback victory over Detroit October 15, 2021
- Lightning come out Flat and Fall to Pittsburgh on Banner Night October 13, 2021
- 2021-22 Lightning Season Preview October 12, 2021
- Preseason struggles continue as Bolts drop another to Preds October 3, 2021
- The New Lightning Players July 31, 2021
- Tampa Bay Locks up Point with big 8 Year Extension July 28, 2021
- Expansion draft predictions: Who we think the Kraken select July 20, 2021
- Protect the house: Stamkos, Vasilevskiy highlight Lightning untouchables July 18, 2021