ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: 27th overall pick Vladislav Namestnikov by the Tampa Bay Lightning stands onstage for a photo during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Did you feel that earlier? All of that shaking? That was the announcement that Lightning rookie camp opens up on September 9th.
What'd you think it was, and earthquake or something? Ha! Like you get earthquakes on the East Coast! You silly people.
Anywho, with the start of rookie training camp, that puts the beginning of hockey in Florida to being officially two and a half weeks away. Seriously, do the math. That's 18 days from today.
And that, my hockey loving friends, is probably the best news you'll hear all day.
For the official Tampa Bay Lightning team announcement, check it out below.
LIGHTNING TO OPEN ROOKIE CAMP SEPT. 9 IN BRANDON
Prospects to Participate in Coral Springs Tournament
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning will open their 2011 Rookie Camp with fitness testing and physicals at the Brandon Ice Sports Forum on Friday, September 9, the team announced today. The prospects will hit the ice in Brandon the following day, Saturday, September 10.
For the first time in franchise history the Lightning prospects will travel to the Saveology.com Iceplex in Coral Springs, Florida for a three-team rookie tournament which begins Sunday, September 11. The tournament will also feature prospects from the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators. The camp and tournament schedule is as follows:
· Friday, Sept. 9 – Fitness testing and physicals (Brandon Ice Sports Forum), Time TBA
· Saturday, Sept. 10 – Practice (Brandon Ice Sports Forum), Time TBA
· Sunday, Sept. 11 – Morning Skate (Brandon Ice Sports Forum), Time TBA
Tampa Bay vs. Florida at 6 p.m. (Saveology.com Iceplex)
· Monday, Sept. 12 – Tampa Bay vs. Nashville at 6 p.m. (Saveology.com Iceplex)
· Tuesday, Sept. 13 – Practice (Saveology.com Iceplex), Time TBA
· Wednesday, Sept. 14 – Tampa Bay vs. Florida at Noon (Saveology.com Iceplex)
The Lightning have invited 21 players to camp, including 12 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders. Notable attendees include former first-round picks Carter Ashton, Brett Connolly and Vladislav Namestnikov, as well as highly-touted prospects Richard Panik, James Wright, Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas. In all, eight of the Lightning’s prospects played in the American Hockey League last season, while Wright was the only one to see any NHL action.
Tickets for the Lightning’s preseason games against the St. Louis Blues at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando on September 21 and against the Panthers at the St. Pete Times Forum on September 23 are now on sale. For more information, or to purchase, visit tampabaylightning.com, ticketmaster.com or call 1-800-745-3000. For the best value fans are encouraged to purchase a Lightning ticket package. For more information call 813.301.6600.