As Hurricane Ian made landfall over Cuba as a Category 3 storm, knocking out power for the entire country, Tampa Bay Lightning officials made the call to postpone all of the activities associated with their 30th Anniversary kickoff that they had planned for the weekend.
The #Bolts have also announced the following postponements due to potential effects of Hurricane Ian:— Chris Krenn (@Chris_Krenn) September 27, 2022
- 30th Anniversary Season Kickoff (Scheduled for 10/1)
- Open practice (Scheduled for 10/2)
- Coop’s Catch for Kids, Jon Cooper’s charity fishing tournament (Scheduled for 10/3)
While the projected path of the storm has now shifted south of the Tampa Bay area, there is still the possibility of a lethal storm surge that could reach 4 to 6 feet in the bay and surrounding areas. With the hurricane potentially increasing to a Category 4 before making landfall, even its outer bands could produce damaging winds and rain, leading to extreme flooding.
The storm is expected to be through the area by Wednesday night and into the Atlantic Ocean by Thursday evening. However, as experienced Floridians know, storm tracks aren’t always accurate and they can stall in the Gulf, changing the expected time line. Even if it holds to the current timeline, clean up efforts could stretch well into the weekend making it difficult for the Lightning to hold their planned events.
Due to its location right on the water, and the fact that the ice has already been installed, Amalie Arena is not currently set up as an emergency shelter for residents displaced by the storm. WUSF has an interactive site with the open shelters in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Times has also set up a page dedicated to the latest information on the storm.
To all of our readers in the areas affected by the storm, please stay safe and heed the local authorities instructions.
Lightning / NHL News
In the hopes of providing some distraction from the weather, here is what is happening around the league.
Lightning lose first preseason game to Carolina [Raw Charge]
Kudos to Max Lagace for keeping the game reasonably close in the first two periods. Carolina dominated all facets of the of the match-ups thanks in large part to the fact they put a solidly veteran team on the ice. Vlad Namestnikov scored the lone goal for the Bolts.
Top 25 Under 25: #4 Cole Koepke [Raw Charge]
After just one season with the Syracuse Crunch Koepke is poised to make the Lightning roster. He was one of the few noticeable forwards in the loss last night, which bodes well for his chances.
While the game day squad was in Raleigh, the rest of the organization flew up to Nashville for the next few days. They will practice in the area on Wednesday and have added another exhibition game for Thursday. The team was originally scheduled to return to the Tampa area after the game on Friday, but have stated that they will remain in Nashville until further notice.
Who is ready for NHL general managers to sign some dumb contracts? I am! According to Elliotte Friedman, the salary cap is scheduled to increase by almost $10 million by the 2025-26 season. After a one million dollar jump in 2023-24 to $83.5 million, it’s expected to go up to $87.5-88 million the next season and then $92 million by 2025-26. Jack Thompson is going to GET PAID!
Panthers ink Spencer Knight to three-year extension [Litter Box Cats]
The Lightning’s instate rivals signed their back-up netminder to a three-year contract extension worth $13.5 million. It kicks in next year and the Florida Panthers will have $14.5 million tied up in their two netminders. Seems like an interesting way to allocate resources.
Jacob Melanson suspended two games for illegal check to the head [Davy Jones Locker Room]
Well, that didn’t take long. The NHL Department of Player Safety issued a two-game suspension to the Seattle Kraken forward for his hit on Edmonton Oilers forward James Hamblin. Congratulations on being the first Kraken to be suspended in the team’s short history.
Three of Aquilini’s children have accused him of physical and psychological during court proceedings regarding his failure to continue child support payments. The owner of the hockey club has categorically denied the claims and is “outraged” by the accusations.
Lalonde: ‘Someone is losing their job’ in regards to rankings [Detroit Free Press]
After coming in third in the “Most handsome NHL head coaches” rankings, Detroit Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde joked that “someone is getting fired for that” and that it’s a “bad, bad list” if David Quinn is at the bottom and he’s at the top. For the record any “handsome” list that has Marty St. Louis outside of the top five is invalid.
Auston Matthews threw out the first pitch before the Toronto Blue Jays game. The Jays proceeded to lose to the New York Yankees. Guess they wanted to get the Leafs jinx out of the way before the playoffs.