Raw Charge - three years later

Greetings and welcome to the Raw Charge. The Raw Charge is the newest SB Nation entry in its NHL coverage and is devoted to the Tampa Bay Lightning as well as general opinions and news pieces regarding the National Hockey League and occasionally postings about Tampa Bay sports in general.

March 17th, 2009 "The Raw Charge" went live at 6:08 PM EDTon a game night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Greetings, salutations came in comments on our introductory post, and no one bothered to point out the awkwardness of name "The" in the site name.

So here we are, three years later. Thousands of stories have gone up from the staff, dozens of FanPosts and hundreds of FanShots have been supplied by the fans. There have been tens of thousands of comments on upteen game-threads, thousands of Tweets and even a few Tumblr posts out there on the social networks.... All of this is united under the site name and our interest in the Tampa Bay Lightning and ice hockey in general.

Below the jump, a few quick shout-outs of thanks from staff and m'self.

Matt Amos:

I'd just like to say I'm glad to be a part of it. We all do a good job, and we I think the team aspect around here is top notch.
Well deserved happy birthday, RC.

Tina Robinson:

Thanks for letting me tag along. It's been fun so far and can't see that changing anytime soon. Happy Birthday RC, looking' good!

Clark Brooks:

It's been a pleasure and a privilege.
Congrats and thanks to all, especially John & Cassie.

Clare Austin:

As the newbie around here, I don't really have anything for publication.

Just want to say thanks for letting me do this with y'all. I've really enjoyed it, especially the chance to get to know all of you.

Cassie McClellan:

I'd like to thank the Academy for this great honor. It was totally unexpected and....

Wait. Wrong speech. Let's see...ummm....oh, here it is. Sorry about that.

The very first thank must go to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail. He was our original fearless hockey leader here at SB Nation, and he got most of the team blogs started. He recruited John Fontana, who in turn, recruited me. Without James, Raw Charge and the rest of the NHL blogs would be a totally different animal than what it is now.

The next big thank you goes to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team has been very supportive of our efforts, and has helped us along many, many times. It's such an honor to have the team we write about not only acknowledge us, but willingly work with us to help us create the best online product we can.

Our fellow SB Nation hockey bloggers have been wonderful as well. Whenever we need help, have a question, or need to complain, you guys have always been there for us. Sometimes you'll invade our blog when the teams we write about are playing each other, and other times, you'll just wander over to hang out. Thanks for being there for us, always.

We'd also like to thank the hockey fans who comment, write, and hang out with us on game threads. We've tried to make a place where the game can be celebrated, analyzed, and discussed by fans from every team in a respectful fashion, and you guys help make that happen. We love our community, and we hope it keeps growing. And I think it will, because of fan like you guys.

Finally, John and I would like to thank our writers, Clark Brooks, Matt Amos, Clare Austin, Tina Robinson, and Dani Toth. We know you all have lives and jobs, and some of you have your own Lightning blogs, but you still put in some serious time to contribute your analysis, thoughts, and opinions for us when you really don't have to. We really appreciate you guys, and all of the work that you do.

Thank you all very, very much!

I don't know what the future holds for Raw Charge, or what is in store for the Lightning for that matter. As a fan, I'm excited about the future in Tampa Bay.

Cassie mentioned current staff when she expressed thanks and appreciation, but there are two others that have since moved on from Raw Charge that need be mentioned: Meredith Qualls and Nolan Whyte. The contributions in the past and continued friendship from both Merry and Nolan is appreciated.

For the community members and readers, I also say thanks for sticking around, thank you for investing your time in reading our stuff and participating on our game threads. In a world with so many things vying for your attention, it means something to know that our site draws you in for even a brief amount of time.