Major buisness news always plays out on Monday... Well, most of the time, anyway. It's not surprising that a bit of noteworthy news came to pass in the land of Tampa Bay Lightning coverage this Monday morning. The Tampa Bay Times has a change taking place in it's coverage of the Lightning:
After 16 years at the Tampa Bay Times and 13 seasons covering the Lightning, I am leaving the paper to join my wife in Washington DC.— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) May 12, 2014
It was a great run, and I hold the people I worked with at the Times in the highest regard. Joe Smith takes over the beat starting today.— Damian Cristodero (@LightningTimes) May 12, 2014
We wish Damian well on his future endeavors and will certainly miss his Animal House references that occasionally popped up in his writing over the years.
Cristodero took over the Lightning beat in 1998 from Tom Jones, who departed the (then) St. Pete Times to cover the expansion Minnesota Wild. Jones has since returned, moving from sports-media critic to feature columnist.
Joe Smith, who is taking over the beat, has been working with the Times in multi-facets for the past several years, occasionally chipping in on all sports coverage for the paper. He had made multiple forays into Lightning land this season while Cristodero had days off / away from hockey coverage.