There are a lot of things a GM looks for when he's putting together a team from absolute scratch: he looks for scoring centers like Brian Bradley, tough wingers like Basil McRae, top draft picks like Roman Hamrlik, and smooooooth skating, savvy veterans for the blueline like Doug Crossman.
I know it may seem odd that of all the random #3s ever to play for the Lightning, I'm choosing to chat about Doug Crossman. After all, he only played 40 games for the Lightning back in the team's inaugural 1992-93 season before being traded with McRae to the St. Louis Blues. But Crossman has something special going for him. In the 40 games he played with a Bolt on his chest he scored 29 points, and SIX of them came in a single game.
So, do any of you happen to know what is the Lightning record for most points in a single game?
Did anybody guess six?
Yes, with all the firepower of Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, and now Steven Stamkos basically owning EVERYTHING in the Lightning offensive record book, the record for most points in a game is held by Doug Crossman. St. Louis managed to tie Chris Kontos' team record for most goals in a game (four) while not-so-secretly waiting for a trade, he still couldn't touch Doug.
So who is Doug Crossman? He's a Peterborough, Ontario kid who was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks way back in 1979, and mostly split the '80s between Chicago and the Philadelphia Flyers. He went to the Stanley Cup Final twice with the Flyers, scoring 18 points in 26 playoff games in 1987. (The Flyers lost to the Edmonton Oilers both times. So sad.)
By the time '92 rolled around Crossman had become a journeyman, playing for the Kings, Islanders, Whalers and Red Wings in a span of three years. He arrived in Tampa Bay to join the veteran-laden blueline that GM Phil Esposito was assembling; tough customers like Peter Taglianetti and Joe Reekie would keep the opposition honest, and skilled players like Hamrlik, Shawn Chambers, Bob Beers and Crossman would chip in with the scoring.
Crossman's peak with the Bolts came at Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders on November 7, 1992. The Lightning rode in and took a 6-5 overtime victory from the Isles, with Crossman figuring in all six Lightning goals, scoring three of them himself.
Besides the hat trick, Crossman also assisted on two power play goals by Bob Beers and one from Brian Bradley (big thanks to Islanders blueliner Darious Kasperaitis for taking 17 minutes in penalties).
Crossman of course had the winner in overtime. That's just awesome.
(Other Lightning players to where #3 are Shawn Rivers, Eric Charron, Pavel Kubina, Sami Helenius, Sergey Gusev, Grant Ledyard, Marc Bergevin, Doug Janik, Ty Wishart, and Keith Aulie.)
Nolan Whyte is a regular contributor to Raw Charge. His latest novel Among The Humans is unforgettably incredible.