Alex Wennberg and Thomas Vanek sign with CBJ and VAN.

The Bolts

@iActium breaks down Anton Stralman’s impact on the Tampa Bay Lightning and why he’s such a crucial piece for the franchise. “By adding Stralman, Yzerman brought a level of balance to the defensive corps that the Lightning hadn’t seen in years. Stralman’s arrival allowed Cooper to balance the defensive depth and deploy his players in a manner that would be the most effective.” [Raw Charge]

Tyler Johnson overhauled his summer workout routine and he says it’s already paying off for him. “Johnson switched to a Keto diet, which is a high-fat, low-carb regimen (think more fish, meat, veggies, less pasta, bread, starches.) ‘It’s pretty crazy at first, pretty hard to change,’ Johnson said. ‘But now it feels pretty good.’” [Tampa Bay Times]

David Gunnarsson designed Peter Budaj’s mask for this up-coming season. Not only is the mask itself beautiful, but the story in the description is just as fascinating.

Open up the storm drain, the players are pouring in!

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Ice Ice, Baby!

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Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times confirms that the Lightning have not been one of the two teams that have sent Russian forward Danis Zaripov a contract offer.

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The Crunch

If you thought treadmills couldn’t get any worse. Cory Conacher would like to introduce you to the staking treadmill.

The Game

The Columbus Blue Jackets lock up 22-year-old centerman Alexander Wennberg to a six-year, $29.4 million contract. Wennberg will carry a $4.9 million cap hit until 2022-23, when he will be 28, basically his entire prime. “Wennberg, who in 2016-17 posted career-bests of 13 goals and 46 assists in his third season, will anchor the Jackets’ top line for years to come.” Blue Jackets fans are clearly very happy with the deal and the rest of the league should be jealous.. Wow, what a deal! [The Cannon]

The Vancouver Canucks have signed forward Thomas Vanek to a one-year, $2 million contract. The 33-year-old recorded 17 goals, 31 assists in 68 games with the Red Wings and Panthers last season. “The one year deal is beneficial as the Canucks could choose to trade Vanek at the trading deadline with hopes of acquiring more draft picks. If that is the hope, then the signing is justifiable as it insulates the Canucks youngsters.” [Canucks Army]

It appears that Ryan Malone might be using the PTO he signed with the Minnesota Wild to help him get into game shape in order to play in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. “[Malone] has Olympic experience playing for the United States at the 2010 games. He scored three goals and added two assists for the team that took home Silver. An AHL contract and a chance to make the Olympic team seems like a reasonable goal for Malone at this point in his career.” [NBC Sports]

Tennis legend Roger Federer was asked about fellow Swiss athlete Nico Hischier during a post-match interview at the US-Open. The man they call “Fed” spoke highly of the teenager and showered some old-man wisdom on the 18-year-old forward. “You have to put your head down and just work as hard as you possibly can, have a great entourage around you. If he has any questions, I’m always happy to help…” [SB Nation]

The Lightning have their own Countdown Clock! It’s located somewhere on South Howard Ave.

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Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com