Tampa Bay hires former NHL forward Steve Thomas as player development consultant

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The Tampa Bay Lightning added another piece to their new front office puzzle today as the team signed former forward Steve Thomas as a player development consultant, TSN reports.

Thomas will monitor and oversee all of the Lightnings prospects.

Thomas played 1235 games in the NHL, scoring 421 goals over 20 seasons. He played for the Maple Leafs, Blackhawks, Islanders, Devils, Ducks and Red Wings.

It’s been an incredibly busy summer for the Lightning. They added new GM Steve Yzerman, a new coach in Guy Boucher, new players including Simon Gagne and some other front office types.

It’s quite common for NHL teams to hire former players as “consultants,” especially with experienced types like Thomas and Chris Chelios. Perhaps they’re going to groom Thomas for a bigger role in the future – either behind the bench or in the front office – or maybe it’s just a moment in which one hockey veteran reaches out to another. Either way, congrats to Thomas as he tries to carve out a post-playing career.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)