It's still close to three weeks before the Tampa Bay Lightning formally opens training camp at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. News of players already making appearances at the ISF for informal workouts has trickled through social networks.
Hockey is coming. Even if that anxious feeling you have makes the wait seem like things are still a long ways off. I can assure you that the clock is moving forward, as is the calendar days.
The National Hockey League and the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey franchise will cease their summer hibernation shortly. And then, the glory of the season will follow soon after
What is in store for the season, though? That's what the games are played for; the wins, the losses, the drama that happens and stories that unfold during the course of it all. Among those stories are seasonal and career benchmarks. Every player has a potential milestone to reach, or an accolade to chase after.
Not all of it's guaranteed to happen, but the numbers are there to be reached for.
Below the jump is a list of potential milestones for quite a few of the Tampa Bay Lightning roster players in 2011-12. Not every milestone is major (or included), nor is the every player accounted for... But they are benchmarks in a career, none the less.
- Vincent Lecavalier will reach his 1,000th career NHL game sometime late this winter / early this spring (he needs 66 games) and he is 7 points away from 800 for his career. 8 assists short of 450, and 23 points short of 300 on the power play.
- Martin St. Louis is 46 games short of 900 for his career (iron man streak is 471 consecutive games played). He is 2 goals away from 300 for his career and 20 assists away from 500. He is 22 points away from 800 for his career. He needs 2 short-handed goals to reach 30, and 3 points on the power play to reach 250 all-time.
- If Steven Stamkos plays all season, he should break 300 games played late this winter (he's currently at 243). He needs 68 points for 300 for his career, and 6 points on the power play to reach 100.
- Teddy Purcell is looking to play in his 200th NHL game and score his 100th NHL point. He needs 16 points on the power play to reach 50 for his career.
- Steve Downie needs only 3 more games played to reach 200 for his career, and needs 4 points to reach 100. He's 9 goals shy of 50.
- Dominic Moore needs 49 games to reach 500 career games played. He's 3 assists shy of 100, and he's 40 points shy of 200.
- Victor Hedman (47) and Matt Gilroy (73) can both crack the 200 games-played plateau in their 3rd NHL seasons. Nate Thompson needs 3 games to reach the same mark.
- Ryan Shannon needs 40 games played to reach 300 for his career, and he's 13 points shy of 100 for his career.
- With 8 games played, Ryan Malone will reach 500 NHL games for his career. He's 1 point shy of 300 and 2 goals shy of 150. He needs 5 points on the power play to reach 100.
- Adam Hall needs 14 points to reach 150 for his career. Mattias Ohlund needs 7 to reach 350 (and 115 PIM to reach 1000).
- Pavel Kubina needs 51 PIMs for 1100 for his career. He's also 29 points shy of 400.
- Brett Clark, playing his first game of the season, will reach his 600th NHL game. He's 30 points removed from 200 all-time.
- Eric Brewer needs 42 games played to reach 800 all-time. He's 5 assists from 150 and 72 PIMs from 700.
- Dwayne Roloson is 34 games played from 600 all-time, he's 25 game starts away from 550. He's 36 wins (a lofty number) away from 250 for his career, and 2 shutouts away from reaching 30.
- Mathieu Garon is 25 games-played from 300, and 8 game starts away from 250 for his career. He needs to play 13 minutes in net to reach 15,000. With 9 wins, he will reach 125, and he's 1 shutout away from 20 for his career.