Bolts not expected to name new captain ’til after preseason


Tampa Bay has been captain-less since the club bought out Vincent Lecavalier in late June.

Now it sounds like the Lightning will go without for a little while longer.

The club isn’t expected to name a new captain until after its final preseason game — Saturday, Sept. 28 vs. Florida — according to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times.

Lecavalier, now with Philadelphia, served two terms as the Lightning’s captain, the first from 2000-01 and the second from 2008-13.

In between, the organization turned to a pair of veteran presences to wear the “C” — Dave Andreychuk (who inherited it at age 39 and captained the team to the 2004 Stanley Cup), and Tim Taylor (who inherited it at 37 and served for two seasons.)

It’ll be interesting to see what route the club goes this time around as two candidates immediately jump to mind: Martin St. Louis and Steve Stamkos.

St. Louis, 37, is the club’s longest-tenured player and has served as an alternate captain since 2007.

Stamkos, 23, is the club’s brightest young star, a two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner and has worn an “A” since 2011.

There are cases to be made for both. Based on merit and service to the team, St. Louis seems like a solid choice — but Stamkos is the future of the club and, as we’ve seen in Chicago (with Jonathan Toews) and Pittsburgh (Sidney Crosby), putting a “C” on a young star can fast-track his leadership growth.

If there’s anybody else in the running for Bolts captain, it’d probably have to be defenseman Eric Brewer. He’s got the most leadership experience on the roster, having served as St. Louis’ captain for three seasons (2008-11).

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?