Just before the season got underway the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they would be establishing a Hall of Fame for the organization. Details were a bit sketchy at the time, but they did let us know that the inaugural inductees would be honored during an Alumni Weekend, which will take place from March 16th-19th.
Earlier today they revealed the 12 players, coaches, broadcasters, and executives that those inductees will be chosen from. Per their press release, here are the names and accomplishments:
2022-23 LIGHTNING HALL OF FAME NOMINEES (Alphabetical Order):
- Captained Lightning to first Stanley Cup
- Second-most power-play goals in NHL history
- Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
- First NHL All-Star in TBL history
- Led Bolts to first playoff appearance
- Netted first goal at Ice Palace (now AMALIE Arena)
- First head coach in Lightning history
- Played vital role in early growth of TBL franchise
- Third-most games coached in Lightning history
- Founded the Lightning franchise
- Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
- 30-plus years with TBL organization
- 2004 NHL Executive of the Year
- TBL General Manager from 2002-08
- Acquired Ruslan Fedotenko, Darryl Sydor, Brad Lukowich and more
- Scored both goals in Game 7 of 2004 SCF
- Tied for team lead in 2004 Playoffs with 12 goals
- Led Tampa Bay with six goals in 2004 ECF
- 1996 7th-round pick by the Lightning
- 10 seasons with the Bolts
- Second-most games by a defenseman in Lightning history (662)
- Alternate captain with Tampa Bay for four seasons
- Ranked third on Bolts with 19 playoff points in 2004
- Ninth-most goals in Lightning history
- First vice president and secretary for Tampa Bay
- Partnered with Phil Esposito to help with early business operations
- Played instrumental role in finding additional partners for TBL startup
- Lightning play-by-play announcer for 24 years
- 2020 Hewitt Memorial Award Recipient
- Permanently remembered in AMALIE Arena press box with “The Rick Peckham Broadcast Booths”
- Stanley Cup Champion
- Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
- Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Winner
- 13th-most games in Lightning history
- Only player to play all 84 games in inaugural season
- Fourth captain in Bolts history
Wait, there are two pretty big names that aren’t on the list! You’re correct, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis aren’t on the nominations list because, well, according to the Lightning they are already in. Due to the fact that their numbers have been retired by the organization they are automatically entered into the Hall of Fame and will be honored along with the other inductees. That’s pretty convenient since the Montreal Canadiens (who currently employ both Lightning legends) are in town during Alumni Weekend.
Of the names that are on the list, two will be chosen to join them in the inaugural class. Per the Lightning, two nominees will be inducted each year moving forward so there is a chance that, at some point, all of the names you see above will be inducted.
Per Chris Krenn, a 10-person selection committee chose the finalists based criteria that included:
- Players had to play at least 3 seasons or 200 games with the Lightning and be retired
- Non-players had to have been with the organization at least 10 years.
He mentioned, but didn’t specify, that there were some other requirements as well.
That same committee will vote for the two finalists. Fans will have the chance to be the 11th vote. Starting on Monday January 29th at 9:00 AM they can start voting via the new brand new Lightning app (downloadable through these links GOOGLE and APPLE). Voting will conclude on Sunday January 29th at 5:00 PM. One lucky fan that votes through the app will win two lower-level tickets to the Lightning game against the Canadiens on March 18th.
Personally, I think it’s a slam dunk as to who should be in the first class - Phil Esposito and Dave Andreychuk. Uncle Phil is responsible for this whole crazy experience and Captain Dave was integral in bringing respect, and a Stanley Cup, to the organization after a decade or so of wandering in the hockey desert.
What do you think? Does anyone on the list rise above those two?