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The BoltProspects Podcast, Episode 98

This BoltProspects Podcast, Episode 98 – the ’98 Draft Edition, contains the following topics:

· The No. 98
· The 1998 Draft led to 2004 Cup
· 2017-2018 Lightning: Reasons to plan a Cup parade
· 2017-2018 Lightning: Reasons to plan a pitchfork parade
· Interview with Adam Erne
· #BPMailbag

Groulx, Crunch Look to Turn Page on Last Season


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Benoit Groulx paused before answering the question.

“How long did it take for you to get over that finals loss? Was it a whole summer thing?”

The Crunch head coach, whose team fell in six games to the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Calder Cup Finals in his first year behind the Syracuse bench last season, smiled and shrugged. While Groulx believes his team had a good showing, it was tough to come up just short.

Groulx and the Crunch are looking to turn the page as they begin their 2017-18 campaign.

“We have many different faces,” Groulx said. “We have nine or 10 rookies on the team, but we also have solid vets — guys with a lot of experience in this league. We want to play a certain style, and that’s our goal to be competitive and see where we’re at when it starts.”

Way-Too-Early Roster Projections

As the Lightning trudge through the offseason swamp, we’ll keep a running list of best-guess rosters for Tampa Bay and Syracuse based on players available to them. Use the old “if the season started today” when looking at this. Of note: Unless you’re reading this on opening night, the season doesn’t start today and fans should never judge an offseason until the puck drops on the season.

With that said, here’s where players slot if the season were to start today. Notable RFA’s are included, but UFA’s are not. We will also not make bold predictions such as Ben Thomas unseating Anton Stralman because of his offseason workout magic, or anything like that. If a Brayden Point situation happens, it just happens. Depth charts (NOT line combos) are based on probability and relative status to their peers as of this moment.

Here we go:

Offseason Prospect Rankings

Introduction
Now that the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and Lightning prospect development camp are in the past, it's time to update BoltProspects' prospect rankings. Usually we do the introductions to these rankings in a fairly formulaic fashion, with a quick overview of the general inertia of the prospect pipeline since our last rankings update followed by the usual legalese about our ranking eligibility rules. This time around, I'd like to take a step back, though, and address a couple of things that have come up in the last month or so. You can call this clearing the air, venting, keeping it real, whatever you like...

Issue number one is the trade of Jonathan Drouin, a former prospect whose athletic gifts we obviously had a lot of respect for on the website. Because of that respect of Drouin, the talent, we were really swept up in a maelstrom of bomb throwing and hyperbole by different factions in the fan base that just didn't represent the more mature, nuanced position we have on the trade. To put it bluntly, there were so many people on my Twitter mentions acting the fool that day, you'd have thought I died and moved to a market like Toronto or Montreal where BS and hype erupt into the hockey world en masse through some rip in common sense and the time space continuum, alike.

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