Yesterday, the original 1992-93 Tampa Bay Lightning team reunited at Expo Hall to relive memories of the first year of National Hockey League hockey in Tampa Bay. The public relations team redid Expo Hall to host the event, setting up the nets in their original configuration and marking the floor to show where the starting lineup began the first-ever Tampa Bay Lightning game against the Chicago Blackhawks -- which they won, 7-3.
Many notable figures from Lightning history took the stage, including the founder of the franchise himself, Phil Esposito, who was greeted with a standing ovation from attending fans. Some highlights of the day are below, and Bryan Burns has written a nice piece celebrating four staffers who've worked for the organization since the very beginning.
Original Lightning staff members represent team with professionalism. "Over the course of the franchise's history, four individuals - Nigel Kirwan, Dr. Chuck Slonim, Dr. Sam Caranante and Rod Harris -- have been with the team from its inception, four individuals who bleed Lightning blue and represent the team with the class and the professionalism the franchise has come to stand for." [NHL.com]
Guess who makes this list of Top 10 Surprisingly Impressive Defensemen? Not Victor Hedman. "Playing with the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightnings’ AHL-affiliate team, Koekkoek has managed to score a decent number of assists but he’s never been much of a big goal-scorer. Now having played in three games for the Lightning this year, he’s already scored twice. That’s pretty unexpected yet surprisingly impressive none the less." [THW]
And guess who makes this list of Top 5 Most Surprising Players? Not Steven Stamkos. “The Tampa Bay Lightning are led up front by Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, but 21-year-old Point is proving depth scoring matters.” [The Score]
We see these guys later today. Red Wings, Lightning off to good starts. "While the Wings have alternated both Jimmy Howard (three games) and Petr Mrazek (two) in goal thus far — Howard’s .955 save percentage is second in the NHL — the Lightning have rode Andrei Vasileskiy for all five of their games, and he’s responded with four wins and a .911 save percentage." [Fox Sports]
Lightning's J.T. Brown spent day with Tampa police. Here's what happened. "Brown, Dumont and Vladislav Namestnikov were taken through the academy, offered a couple times a year to citizens. They went through mock traffic stops, attended to a report of domestic violence and drunk and disorderly at a bar. They participated in computer simulations which tried to teach when there should be shoot and no-shoot scenarios." [Tampa Bay Times]
Wanna know how Nic Riopel is doing? Trace is back! Adirondack Thunder Week 1 in Review. "It was a successful debut for the Adirondack Thunder as they officially kicked off their 2017-18 campaign with a win against the Canadiens’ ECHL affiliate, the Brampton Beast." [Raw Charge]
Tye McGinn sat out last night's Syracuse Crunch game for an illegal check to the head. [Hockey Fights]
We'll have a weekly Syracuse Crunch column by Brandon starting today, but until then, here's a recap:
Rough starts continues as Syracuse Crunch rocked by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. "Cory Conacher scored the lone Syracuse Crunch goal in a 6-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins today at the Mohegan Sun Arena." [Syracuse.com]
What was your favorite highlight from last night? Share for Hardev’s enjoyment, below!