Category: Hockey

Ex-Islander Halmo Joins Lightning Organization:

The Tampa Bay Lightning may have added depth to its future corps of forward with the signing Mike Halmo. The 25-year-old from Kitchener, Ontario spent last season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, where he garnered 22 goals and 19 assists for 41 points. He also collected 117 penalty minutes. Upon his signing, Halmo tweeted, “Excited to be joining the @TBLightning organization. Letssss goooooooooo.”

Halmo spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, a major junior league in Canada, playing for the Owen Sound Attack. During that time, he recorded 76 goals and 89 assists. His best season came in 2011-2012 when he had 40 goals and 45 assists for 85 points. Despite those numbers, Halmo was not drafted.

His hard work paid off in 2012 when he was signed by the New York Islanders as a free agent. After putting up 18 goals and 20 assists for Bridgeport in 2013-2014, he was called up to the Islanders for the remainder of their season. Halmo’s offense did not carrying over to the NHL as he had just one goal in 20 games. Your text to link…

Though not the biggest guy on the ice at 5’11, 195 pounds, the scouting report by The Hockey News calls Halmo a “feisty competitor” and a rugged, energetic winger. He could help bolster the Lightning’s fourth line in the near future.

Stamkos Happy to Be Back and Ready to Win

The sleepless nights are over and Steven Stamkos can breathe a sigh of relief. He’s coming back to Tampa.

After a week in which the Tampa Lighting captain drew interest from several teams, including the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres, Stamkos decided to resign with the team that drafted him. The decision wasn’t easy.

“It was a very tough decision, it truly was,” Stamkos said. “I can’t say this past week has been fun. It was pretty stressful to be honest.”

But now that the stress of free agency is over, Stamkos said that he is happy to be returning to the Lightning.

“I felt in my heart that Tampa was always the place I wanted to stay,” Stamkos said. “It was just following your heart and being loyal to the organization that brought me up and made me the player and person that I am today.”

Stamkos has played for the Lightning since the team drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009. He has since become a top goal-scorer and has led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015 and within one game this season.

The captain is looking forward to returning to his teammates and bringing continued success to Tampa.

“I grew up as a kid there,” Stamkos said. “This team is on the verge of hopefully competing for Stanley Cups for years to come.”

The Lightning have their leader back, and he couldn’t be happier.

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning Still Apart in Contract Talks as Free Agency Approaches

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and his current employers, the Tampa Bay Lightning are reportedly still not close in contract negotiations. Stamkos, 26, has appeared in 569 games for the team that drafted him with the first overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He has twice won the “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the leagues leading goal scorer in his time in Tampa. The Lightning have been trying their best to sign the five time all-star,but there is an important deadline coming up that could potentially stand in their way.

On June 25, unrestricted free agents like Stamkos can listen to offers from teams other than the ones that hold their negotiating rights. This could throw a real wrench in the works of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have been reported to have offered Stamkos a contract worth $84 Million that would average about $8.5 Million per year. it is believed, however, that Stamkos could make sense for a lot of teams to sign. USA Today made out a list of the six teams that would make the most sense for him to end up on. Though, it is believed that the Detroit Red Wings are the most probable location for Stamkos to end up, that is, if he doesn’t already re-sign with Tampa Bay. Stamkos has already voiced that he wants to stay in Tampa because of “unfinished business”.

Still only speculation at this point, but for Lightning fans, the suspense won’t end until their captain is back in Tampa for the forseeable future.

Tampa Bay Lightning Hire Assistant Coach Todd Richards

After a disappointing Stanley Cup bid this season by losing to the red hot Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Tampa Bay Lightning front office is slowly making some changes in order to get back to playoffs and return to the Cup finals in 2017 and do something they haven’t done since 2004: win it all!

According to http://sports.yahoo.com, the Lightning have decided to hire 49 year-old Todd Richards as an assistant coach, thus replacing Steve Thomas, who spent the previous two seasons under Tampa Bay’s head coach John Cooper. Richards is capable of bringing the type of leadership that comes with extensive experience, having most recently coached the Columbus Blue Jackets and previously being an assistant coach for the Minnesota Wild. With over 400 games of NHL coaching experience under his belt, Richards has also been involved with San Jose, Pittsburgh, and Nashville as well.

With such a young and talented group of players such as Stamkos, Johnson, Hedman, Kucherov, and net-minder Ben Bishop, Richards should have no problem connecting with the team’s young core and seasoned veterans as well. Although Richards was a front-runner as an assistant coach for a handful of other NHL teams, he may have made the wisest decision of all by heading to Tampa. When asked about his new gig, Richards had this to say: “The people that I respect in the NHL, the people that I lean on – GMs and coaches – all had great things to say about the organization.”

Tampa Bay Lighting Gains Another New Affiliate

Despite failing to win the National League Hockey playoffs this year after a disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Tampa Bay Lighting hockey team did obtain some good news recently. It entered into an affiliate agreement with ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings. The Tampa Bay hockey team released a press statement announcing the new arrangement on Wednesday. The Kalamazoo wings sometimes go by the nickname the “K-Wings”. The team began playing hockey in 1974.

After sustaining a loss to the Penguins on Thursday, the Tampa Bay Lightening returned to Tampa very early on Friday morning. Players met briefly with welcoming fans. The team last won the Cup in 2009, and they have worked hard since that time to reprise the victory. They played in the recent out-of-state playoff game without the presence of Tampa Bay Lighting player Ben Bishop, who remains hospitalized after being placed on the injury list since May 13th. The 6’7″ player from Denver is the oldest goalie on the team’s roster and Tampa Bay missed his aggressive defense during the recent playoff games.

The new affiliate agreement gives Tampa Bay Lighting an opportunity to work closely with prospective future hockey team recruits from Michigan. The professional team previously entered into secondary affiliate agreements with teams in several states, including teams in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. The Kalamazoo Wings have helped train some 11 hockey players who went on to become professional hockey players in NHL hockey.