NHL News: Steven Stamkos healthy, Joe Thornton on Leafs top line, Alexis Lafreniere on Rangers third line, and more

Steven Stamkos missed the entire playoffs except for one half period in the Stanley Cup Final. It was a memorable appearance as he scored a goal but he didn’t skate again the rest of the way.

NHL News: Steven Stamkos healthy

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain had surgery this offseason and there was concern if he would be ready for the start of camp. Yesterday, not only was he present but he said he’s ready to go.

“I’ll be ready for camp,” Stamkos said via Zoom conference. “Expectation is to have a full camp and be ready for the start of the season. I’m excited about that. It’s obviously been a very unusual offseason and got to celebrate there and then went straight to surgery. I’ve been doing a lot of rehab. I’ve been at a place now where I’m definitely comfortable on the ice. Looking forward to starting camp and getting on the ice tomorrow.”

Jumbo Joe Thornton on the Maple Leafs first line

It was one thing for the Leafs to lure Joe Thornton away from the San Jose Sharks. It’s entirely something different starting him on your top line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

joe thornton maple leafs
Leafs crazy for Jumbo Joe (Getty Images)

Head coach, Sheldon Keefe was actually not asked about his lines but he offered it up. That’s where he mentioned Thornton starting on the top line and newcomer Jimmy Vesey on a second line with John Tavares and William Nylander.

The Leafs are putting a lot of faith and stock in Jumbo Joe this season.

Alexis Lafreniere will start on NYR third line

Yesterday, head coach David Quinn said 19 year-old phenom and the Rangers 1st overall pick since 1965 will start on the third line. Alexis Lafreniere will play left wing with Filip Chytil as his center and Julien Gauthier on the opposite flank.

Brett Howden will be a placeholder on the first line until Mika Zibanejad comes back. Kaapo Kakko will also be moved up to the second line with Strome and Panarin.

David Quinn did add that Lafreniere is not cemented onto the third line and it could change.

Blackhawks sign Dylan Strome

The center desperate Blackhawks have inked RFA Dylan Strome to a 2-year deal worth an AAV of $3 million.

“We believe Dylan is ready to take the next step in his career and build off the strides he has made in his first two years in Chicago,” Stan Bowman on the team’s website. “He has great offensive instincts and brings creativity and skill to our team. We are thrilled he is now signed and able to join us tomorrow for the start of training camp.”