Lightning Retro Profiles is a series of profiles on former Tampa Bay Lightning players. Some are well known to fans even today, some not so much. These Retro Profiles will highlight some of the names from the Lightning’s past. What kind of player they were, what they did with the Lightning, and their contributions to where the team is today.
Today, we’ll be looking at an interesting player from the Lightning’s past; defenseman Enrico Ciccone. Who? Exactly. Ciccone was not known for his silky mitts. More like for his stone mitts. Because he didn’t score and he racked up a lot of penalty minutes. A. Lot. In fact, he holds the Lightning career franchise record for most Game Misconducts and Match Penalties. He’s tied for third in Misconducts and fourth in Major Penalties.
Due to his willingness to drop the gloves and engaging personality during some pedestrian years for the Lightning Ciccone was a fan favorite.
Before the Lightning
Coming from Montreal, Ciccone came up through the QMJHL playing for the Shawinigan Cataractes and Trois-Rivieres Draveurs over three seasons. He was passed over in his first two years of draft eligibility, but ended up getting picked in the 5th round, 92nd overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft after posting four goals, 28 points and 227 PIMs in 40 games in the QMJHL.
He immediately went pro with the Kalamazoo Wings in the IHL recording 384 PIMs in his rookie season. He added another 406 PIMs in his follow-up season and also made his NHL debut in 1991-92 with the North Stars playing in 11 games with zero points and 48 PIMs. Ciccone continued to bounce around between the NHL and the minors in 1992-93.
After the 1992-93 season, the North Stars traded him to the Washington Capitals for Paul Cavallini. He spent most of the season with the Capitals playing 46 games, recording his first career NHL goal and two points along with 174 PIMs. In late March, he was traded to the Lightning with a third round pick and conditional fifth round pick for Joe Reekie.
With the Lightning
Over parts of three seasons from 1993-94 through 1995-96, Ciccone played in 107 games for the Lightning picking up four goals and 11 points to go along with 535 PIMs. It’s unfortunate that TOI was not tracked in the NHL at this time as they did not start until 1998-99. But I’d wager a guess that he spent about as much time in the penalty box as he did on the ice during this stint with the Lightning.
He would not stay long enough to play in the playoffs for the Lightning as he was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks with a 2nd round pick near the trade deadline in 1995-96. In return the Lightning picked up Patrick Poulin, Igor Ulanov, and a 2nd round pick (which the Lighting traded to New Jersey in the Corey Schwab deal).
After the Lightning
Ciccone ultimately played in 78 games for the Chicago Blackhawks with two goals, five points, and 281 PIMs plus 14 playoff games. The Blackhawks traded him to the Carolina Hurricanes prior to the 1997-98 season. With Carolina, he played in 14 games with three points and 83 PIMs. He was traded again during the season to the Vancouver Canucks where he skated in 13 games with one point and 47 PIMs. He was traded once again back to the Lightning (for Jamie Huscroft).
With the Lightning... Again...
Back with the Lightning, Ciccone played 12 games with no points and 45 PIMs to close out the 1997-98 season. He returned once more for the 1998-99 season, playing 16 games with a goal and two points and 24 PIMs for the Lightning. The Lightning then traded him back to the Capitals for future considerations (cash). Before he was moved to the Caps he did play a small role in making a certain future superstar feel at home in Tampa.
“So sure enough, he [Vincent Lecavalier] came in and stayed with us for about three months. Me and my wife took care of him like he was our little brother … hopefully we made sure that we made it easy for him to transition from leaving home … leaving his nest and coming to another nest.”
After the Lightning... Again...
With the Capitals once more, Ciccone recorded two goals and two points with 103 PIMs over 43 games. He spent the 1999-00 season with the Moskitos Essen in the German DEL league recording four points and 101 PIMs in 14 games. He returned to North America for the 2000-01 season, playing three games in the NHL and two games in the AHL for the Montreal Canadiens before retiring.
After retiring from hockey he spent some time as an agent as well as the broadcast team for the Ottawa Senators. In 2018 he was elected to the National Assembly of Quebec representing the riding of Marquette.
PIMs. PIMs every where you look. While he doesn’t hold the Lightning franchise PIMs lead, that’s only because he didn’t stick around long enough. Just 135 games, with five goals and 14 points to record 604 PIMs. He trails Chris Gratton, Pavel Kubina, Vincent Lecavalier, and Victor Hedman. Hedman just recently passed Ciccone for fourth on the list as he got to the 608 PIM mark.
Ciccone doesn’t quite have the franchise lead for PIMs per game played at 4:28. He’s led by Basil McRae who has 5:04 PIM/GP in 14 games played and Daniel Walcott who has 5:00 PIM/GP from his fight in his one NHL game.