I’m hoping that this site will show that there is support for Southern Hockey, which is routinely put down in various hockey-circles I come across. The Tampa Bay market is the premiere southern US market for Hockey. Yes, we’ve been to hell and back with regards to what the Lightning has gone through over the years – three owners (one of mysterious background, one of football background and currently an arena/sports professional), four 50+ loss seasons in a row, 3 venues (from the barn-like Expo Hall, to the Baseball-stadium-in-waiting Thunderdome, to Ice Palace / St. Pete Times Forum (AKA the Times Palace) ]…
But it’s the trials and tribulations that define fans and how devote an area is to a team.
-- John Fontana, February 10th, 2004
Today marks the sixth anniversary of Tampa Bay Lightning blogs and my sixth anniversary of covering the Lightning on the blogosphere.
I gotta say thanks to SB Nation for bringing me on (James Mirtle and Tyler Bleszinski specifically), and Cassie McClellan for keeping me going or else there wouldn't have been a sixth anniversary. I'd have likely petered out by now and given up.
I know I sure didn't expect where 2004 would take the Lightning (Stanley Cup Champions) or the NHL (subsequent lockout) when I started this, nor did I expect to last this long.
That being said, you keep reading them and I'll keep writing them, 'k?