Philippe Paradis describes it as one of his best memories.
Surrounded by friends and family at the Bell Centre in Montreal, not far from his hometown of Normandin, Paradis was selected 27th overall by Carolina Hurricanes in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
As Paradis made his way to the stage, one TV analyst mentioned his height, 6-1, and his ability to shoot the puck – 95.7 mph in the hardest shot competition during the CHL Top Prospects Game.
A little more than 24 hours before the puck drops on a new season, Syracuse Crunch Head Coach Rob Zettler still didn't know who was going to start between the pipes.
"They'll likely get equal time early on, and then we'll see where it goes," Zettler said.
The two candidates have more than 280 games and a dozen professional seasons between them, so Zettler has time to let it pan out.
Despite another short summer, Mike Angelidis had time to reflect.
The Syracuse Crunch captain, who hoisted the Calder Cup with the Norfolk Admirals in 2012, remembers the letdown of the Game 6 finals loss last June. The recent success of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization provides a winning atmosphere, but it's not complete without the Calder Cup.
We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for September 24, 2013 is … Andrey Vasilevskiy (Salavat Yulaev, KHL, Russia).
If Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman wakes up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night worried about Tampa Bay's goaltending, there’s probably a framed photo of Andrey Vasilevskiy on his nightstand calming him down.
Jean-Philippe Cote is not a household name.
The son of former Quebec Nordique Alain Cote, “J-P” has been with the Lightning organization for the past two seasons. A two-time Calder Cup winner, the defenseman is as much a reason for the Tampa Bay affiliate’s Cup runs these last two years as more recognizable names like Tokarski, Desjardins, Gudas, Panik, Johnson, and Palat.
Cote is 31 years old. He’s not a young prospect like Andrej Sustr or J. T. Brown in the early stages of their development. But Sustr and Brown don’t come close to their talent ceilings without Cote and players like him.
“He’s invaluable,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said last year when coaching Cote’s Syracuse Crunch.
"He's a guy who's been around the block and has played a few games in the NHL," Cooper said. "He's seen it all and done it all. You can't have enough of those guys around."
Cooper has kept Cote around throughout the Lightning’s training camp. The former Leafs ninth round pick has survived every round of cuts so far and is the only player left in camp who is not on an NHL contract.