Not to peel back the curtain too much, but the off-season can be a hard time for writers to find topics to talk about. Sometimes, yes, that does mean stretching a little bit to find things. Thankfully, with prospect camp opening up soon, we’ll have some fun things to write about! But this weekend, I did find an interesting little bit that I felt would be fun.
Former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Bruno Gervais retired earlier this summer. He only played with the Lightning for one season in 2011-12 playing in 50 games with six goals and 13 points. With only 8 penalty minutes and averaging 14:16 TOI, Gervais was a solid third pairing defenseman for the Lightning at a time when the blue line was rather thin.
After leaving the Lightning, Gervais signed with the Philadelphia Flyers. During the lockout, he played briefly in Germany. He played in 37 games for the Flyers in 2012-13 and then spent the next two seasons in the AHL full-time. For the past two seasons, Gervais has played in Germany’s top league for Eisbaren Berlin. He retired with 418 NHL games and 87 points.
When Gervais announced his retirement, former Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon had this fun tweet to congratulate him.
Congratulations @bruno_gervais27 for your great career. I apologize for all the minuses you got because of me. Enjoy your new life!— Mathieu Garon (@OuiOui_32) July 13, 2017
Garon also joined the Lightning for the 2011-12 season and played 48 games. Garon finished his NHL career with the Lightning during the 2012-13 season and retired a year later playing 18 games in the KHL.
So exactly how many minuses did Gervais receive in 2011-12 due to Garon? Overall, Gervais was a minus-four with the Lightning, tied for sixth best among the Lightning’s defensemen in 2011-12. I should also point out that the Lightning had a total of 12 defensemen that season and only two had a better plus-minus while playing more games than Gervais.
And the answer is: 21. Gervais received 21 minuses while Garon was in the net. Now, Gervais did have a handful of pluses throughout the season while Garon was in net, but even those didn’t fully negate all of the minuses that he took.
So there’s your answer and a little bit of history from the Lightning from a couple of now-retired players to fill in a little off-season time.