clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lightning Round: The Bolts Turn 30

The celebration begins on October 1st!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Phil Esposito Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

On Tuesday the Tampa Bay Lightning announced their plans to celebrate their 30 years of NHL existence. That’s right, the “hockey will never make it in Florida” pipe dream is turning 30. Our favorite millennial hockey club is going to kick off the season with.... Smash Mouth!

Okay, there are some other things going on, but on Saturday October 1st, in the year of our lord 2022, Smash Mouth is going to be playing at Amalie Arena. Good for you guys.

Other events that are scheduled for that day are exclusive interviews with current players and coaches as well as general manager Julien Brisebois. Also present will be alumni from the entire spectrum of the Lightning’s existence - names like Dave Andreychuk, Ryan Malone, Mathieu Garon, and Paul Ysebaert were some of the name mentioned. Hopefully, some more of the early team members will be there as well (it would be nice if they could get as many of the original Bolts together as possible). Too often these reunion events have focused on the more recent alumni, as if no one existed before the 2004 Cup team. Give me some Steve Guolla and Bill Houlder (dude was a captain after all).

On Sunday, fans are invited to an open practice (claim your free tickets prior to showing up). Throughout the weekend their will also be question-and-answer sessions, autograph opportunities, fun and games for the entire family, and the annual gear sale.

There will be more events throughout the season as well with things kicking off on October 18th, the night of the home opener, when owner Jeff Vinik and founder Phil Esposito participate in a ceremonial puck drop.

Here is the official logo that will grace center ice all season long:

Perhaps the biggest news buried in the press release was that the Lightning will finally be establishing the “long-awaited” Tampa Bay Lightning Hall of Fame. Fans have debated Rings of Honor or Halls of Fame for the last few seasons and it looks like we’ll finally see some players receive the honor. The inaugural class will be inducted “this spring” during a special alumni weekend.

Because the organization realizes how important it is to continue to give back to the community, they will also select 30 area schools and implement an “immersive program comprised of three-to-four visits from the Lightning organization”. Visits will include things such as pep rallies, teacher appreciation days, and ball hockey clinics.

More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.nhl.com/lightning/fans/30th-anniversary

Lightning / NHL News

The countdown rolls on with Dylan Duke. With some big names leaving the University of Michigan program the young center has the opportunity to step up and be a leader for the Wolverines. (Wolverines!)

Long time hockey columnist Stan Fischler delves into the Andrei Vasilevskiy vs. Igor Shesterkin debate. After he talks about Torts, and Cale Makar. Nope, keep scrolling. It’s there, I swear. Past the section where he talks to Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon (who has nothing but praise for the affiliation with the Lightning). Scroll a little more.... there it is.

Every year, every team has questions heading into training camp. The Athletic comes up with one for every team in the league. For the Lightning it’s the composition of the top six.

Old friend Erik Erlendsson, aka The Lightning Insider, has five players that you should keep an eye on during this weekend’s prospect showcase. (Subscription required and recommended).

Far be it for a Lightning fan to criticize another team for signing a young player to a long-term extension before it’s really necessary, but the St. Louis Blue signing Jordan Kyrou to an 8-year, $65-million extension is certainly....something. The $8.125 AAV deal kicks in next season and matches one recently signed by teammate Robert Thomas. Good for Kyrou for securing that bag. Will there be some wiggle room next summer when Vladimir Tarasenko hits the unrestricted free agent market? Only time will tell.

A somewhat shorter extension took place in Dallas yesterday as well. General manager Jim Nill signed an extension through the 2023-24 season. While the Dallas Stars haven’t enjoyed the same success that the Lightning have since the two met back in the 2020 Bubble Stanley Cup, the Stars have plodded along despite a myriad of injuries to important players. As they start to transition to the next generation of stars, Nill will get a chance to see how it goes.