The RawCharge.com staff would like to extend their warmest wishes and Happy Birthdays to Tampa Bay Lightning players past and present! These players are celebrating their birthdays in the month of November! We’d also like to take an opportunity to highlight a few of these players and their careers with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
- November 1st - Eric Perrin
- November 2nd - Luke Schenn
- November 3rd - Alexander Svitov
- November 4th - Corey Schwab
- November 7th - Mike Commodore
- November 13th - Mark Fitzpatrick, Jason Garrison
- November 16th - Stephane Veilleux
- November 19th - Grant Ledyard
- November 20th - Eddie Pasquale
- November 21st - Ben Bishop, Alex Tanguay
- November 22nd - Vladislav Namestnikov
- November 23rd - Dan Kesa
- November 24th - Fredrik Claesson, Kurtis Foster
- November 25h - Jeff Norton, Nick Tarnasky
- November 26th - Mathieu Darche
- November 28th - Blake Coleman, Mike Kostka
- November 29th - Andrej Sustr
- November 30th - Paul Szczechura
Eric Perrin is one of the names that always sticks out for me when I see it. He was a best friend of Martin St. Louis playing with him for Laval-Laurentides-Lanaudiere Regents in the QMAAA and the Hawkesbury Hawks in the CJHL before both spent four seasons at the University of Vermont. They even both went to the Cleveland Lumberjacks together in the IHL after graduating from Vermont. St. Louis moved up in the AHL and NHL, while Perrin didn’t make it out of the IHL over three seasons.
Perrin went to Finland for three seasons and then came back to North America to play in the minor leagues for the Lightning in 2003-04. He played four games for the Lightning and then 12 games in the playoffs. While he didn’t qualify to have his name on the Cup from games played, the team petitioned to get his name added. Perrin spent the lockout in the AHL and then a year in Switzerland before returning to the NHL with the Lightning in 2006-07 where he scored 13 goals and 36 points in 82 games. He spent the next two years with the Atlanta Thrashers and then went back to Europe with a season in the KHL and then nine seasons in Finland before retiring after the 2018-19 season.
When Bishop left the Lightning, he was arguably the greatest goaltender to ever play in Tampa. While he did not win a Stanley Cup like Nikolai Khabibulin, he left the franchise with practically every franchise record. He had the most games played, starts, wins, saves, and shutouts. He was tied with Khabibulin for the most assists and points. He also lead in Save Percentage and GAA. Andrei Vasilevskit has since surpassed him in everything but Save Percentage and GAA.
Bishop was a fan favorite for good reason. He was very likable, humble, and humorous. But when he stepped on the ice, he was all serious business. The Lightning had gotten some decent goaltending since Khabibulin, but Bishop gave the first glimmer of hope to Lightning fans that this team could truly be successful with a very good goaltendering manning the net.
While the 2010 NHL Entry Draft was technically Steve Yzerman’s first draft as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was the 2011 NHL Entry Draft that was truly HIS first draft. The 2010 draft was handled by the previous scouting staff, but 2011 was the first draft where Al Murray and his scouts were in charge, so I really consider that to be the first Yzerman-led draft. Which for me, makes Namestnikov the first draft pick by Yzerman for the Lightning (not Brett Connolly).
The story is pretty well known now that the Lightning had Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov right next to each other on their board. They decided to go with Namestnikov because of his North America exposure playing in the OHL and there being less of a “Russian Factor” involved on him. Thankfully it wasn’t a disastrous mistake and Kucherov was still available when the Lightning picked again in the second round.
Namestnikov made his NHL debut in 2013-14 and played in 263 games with 53 goals and 123 points for the Lightning. He was traded at the 2017-18 trade deadline, along with Brett Howden, Libor Hajek, and draft picks to the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller. Since then, he has played for the Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, and Detroit Red Wings.