Category: Tampa News

Time To Rebuild for Lightning:

Two years ago they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks. Last season, they were one win away from a second straight trip to the Cup Finals. All indications were the Tampa Bay Lightning were on the cusp of becoming one of the NHL’s elite teams.

 

That’s not the case in 2016-2017. The Bolts are 29-25-8 with 66 points and lingering in sixth place in the Atlantic Division. With playoffs seemingly out of reach, Tampa Bay spent the days leading up to the March 1st trade deadline unloading some of its top players and preparing for rebuild mode.

 

First to go was Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay’s mainstay in goal since 2013-2014. He was sent to the Los Angeles Kings, along with a seventh round draft pick, for goalie Peter Budaj (27-20 this season), defenseman Erik Cernak, and two draft picks. Your text to link… A day later, on February 27th, veteran center Brian Boyle was shipped off to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Byron Froese, who had 24 goals and 15 assists in 48 games this season for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, and a draft pick.

 

Deadline day brought the third and final big trade for the Lightning as they eye their future. Valtteri Filppula, who has turned into more of an assist man than a goal scorer over the past three seasons, was dealt to the Philadelphia Flyers, along with two draft picks, for defenseman Mark Streit, who was immediately sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2018 fourth round draft pick.

 

In losing three prominent players from its roster, the Lightning gained a quality goaltender and four draft picks, five when counting their January 27th deal with Montreal that included defenseman Jonathan Racine, and two prospects in Froese and Cernak. Should the infusion of youth work out, they’ll be added to a roster that already has solid goal scorers like Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson. Once Steven Stamkos is healed up and back on the ice, look for Tampa Bay to be back in the Stanley Cup mix.

 

Bucs Not Yet Ready to Commit to Doug Martin

Bucs May Not Keep Around Doug Martin for Much Longer

 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot to consider when it comes to their running back Doug Martin and his potential future.

 

There is a very strong feeling in the air that suggests that the Bucs are looking for someone else to become the starting running back for their team in the 2017 season, because they have readily admitted that they aren’t fully committed to him for this upcoming season.

 

Martin did not dress for the week 16 game at the New Orleans Saints and then found himself suspended for the next four games for violating an NFL policy. Because of this, the Bucs are no longer obligated to guarantee he plays for them next season when he is due for a $7 million salary. Head coach Dirk Koetter, who just finished his first season with the team, noted that Martin was in town the past week, stopped by the office and looked to be completely healthy. After that he is scheduled to go back to California to train until other players return in April.

 

What makes things easier for the Bucs in terms of what to do with Martin is the fact the NFL Draft this year is stocked with several impressive running backs, including Leonard Fournette out of LSU, Dalvin Cook from Florida State and Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford. The team will be looking at all possible options but it is very likely they’ll reach a final decision after the draft.

 

Martin has not been the same player over the course of his five year career. He was drafted out of Boise State in 2012 and ran for over 1,400 yards that year and scored eleven rushing touchdowns, earning a Pro Bowl nod at the end of the season. Since that time, he has struggled to stay healthy and at the end of the 2016 season he only played in eight games and had a career low of 2.9 yards per carry.

 

Lovers of Haters

It’s hard trying to click with someone when they love everything you hate. Social media dating apps like Bumble and Tinder only pair you to people you find physically attractive, but what about those people who are hot but love that one politician you can’t stand? Good news everyone, now there’s an app for that!

Techcrunch.com tells us about a new app called Haters, that pairs you with people who have the same dislikes as you, instead of weirdos who are simply attractive. Let’s face it, looks aren’t everything! Haters evaluates your personal likes, loves, dislikes, and hates and uses that as you “profile” which is used to pair you to other people with similar profiles. But don’t fret, you can still swipe like we all know you love to do on Tinder. On Haters, swipe up to love, swipe right to like, swipe down to hate, and swipe left to dislike. Do you absolutely hate Trump? Swipe down! Do you love Gossip Girl more than anything? Swipe up!

Are you anti-online dating? No worries, in a few months time Haters won’t be just for online dating anymore! You’ll be able to use it as a way to make friends in your area that have the same views or likes/dislikes that you do. That also takes off some of the pressure for those who are looking for relationships, as it won’t be as awkward anymore. Ready to find a lover who’s a hater of the same things you are! Get Haters today!

 

Tampa Likely to be Impacted by Tropical Storms

Like other cities across the State of Florida, Tampa is very familiar with hurricanes and other tropical storms. While the tropical storm season typically starts a little bit later than late August, it now appears that the city should be bracing for a couple big storms coming their way. A recent news article (http://patch.com/florida/southtampa/hurricane-gaston-holds-strong-tropical-depressions-crawl-toward-florida-atlantic) discussed a couple storms that are in the Tampa area.

 

The first storm that his heading toward Tampa and the rest of Florida is Hurricane Gaston, which originally was formed and recognized as a Hurricane off of the Florida Gulf Coast. The storm was coming into the area of Florida very strong, but recently was downgraded. On Wednesday evening, the storm was officially downgraded and lost its major storm status. The storm initially was measured to have winds as high as 105 miles per hour, which makes it a category 2 storm. However, the relatively slow speed of the storm led to the storm to slow down in speed and it is now not considered as much of a concern.

 

The other storm that is concerning people is Tropical Storm Hermine. This storm, which was also formed near Florida, is currently located about 330 miles away from Tampa, but is heading directly towards the city. The storm currently has winds as high as 50 miles per hour, but is moving pretty slowly towards the city at a rate of 8 miles per hour. The storm is expected to start to make landfall near Tampa at some point on Thursday or early Friday. At that point it is expected that the wind speeds will have reduced to a lower level. While it will not be too damaging, the storm could end up having some pretty negative impact on Labor Day weekend plans for people in Florida, Georgia, and the rest of the South Atlantic Coast.

 

The National Weather Service also has its high on two additional storms that still seem to be forming. These storms, which started well south of Florida have the potential to form into Hurricanes with damaging wind speeds.

Tampa Offers Discounts to Zoo

One of the most popular attractions for locals and visitors in Tampa, Florida is the local zoo. While the zoo is often considered a more expensive entertainment option compared to other options, a recent news article (http://patch.com/florida/southtampa/lowry-park-zoo-offers-discounts-florida-residents) has announced a way that residents and visitors to Tampa could visit the zoo even if they are on a budget.

 

Management at the Lowry Park Zoo, which is conveniently located near the center of town, has announced a new discounted single-day admission policy. This new policy, will provide Florida residents with the chance to get a one-day ticket for just $19.95, which is a $10 discount compared to the normal price of admission. Those that are coming to the zoo from out of state will also find a number of discounted options as well. However, in order to qualify for the lowest price, a person will need to submit a state-issued drivers license, a national passport, or another form of identification. The zoo is also offering significant discounts on annual memberships, which tend to be cost effective for anyone planning three or more trips to the zoo in a given year.

 

The Lowry Park Zoo is well regarded for being one of the top zoos in the country. It sits on a large 60-acre site and is the home to over 1,300 different animal species. The animals are located sporadically throughout the park in a variety of different manufactured habitats.

 

The zoo is also well known for providing guests with the ability to interact with the animals, which is a rarity compared to other zoos and enclosures. Those that visit the zoo can purchase passes to certain exhibits that allow for closer interactive activities, including the ability to feed the giraffes carrots or even pet a giant turtle. Those who are looking to spend a day at the zoo can purchase tickets at the zoo’s ticketing office or can purchase them online in advance. The website frequently has updated information regarding the animals, zoo hours, and further discounts available.

 

Rebuilding The Dynasty – Yankees Future Stars Report to Tampa in February

Major League Baseball’s most decorated franchise hasn’t added much to their “Yankee Mystic” lately. But, when pitchers and catchers report to Legends Field in mid-February, the buzz in Tampa will center on three new top prospects that will be wearing New York pinstripes.

 

 

In professional baseball, Keith Law’s list of top 100 prospects is one of the most respected. Heading into the 2017 season the Yankees spring roster will own 5 spots in his first 50, three of those superbly talented fielders.

 

 

 Heir Apparent to a Yankee Icon

 

It’s been two full seasons since Derek Jeter hung up his pinstripes. The greatest Yankee shortstop’s next stop will be Cooperstown, New York at the MLB Hall of Fame. Ever since their captain retired, Yankee faithful have wondered who will be the next star playing shortstop for the Bronx Bombers.

 

 

Gleybar Torres has the raw talent and all the tools. Already a slick fielder, Yankee scouts wonder whether Torres can produce at the plate. His fielding percentage has climbed each season, hitting .959% in 2016, while playing A-ball in Tampa.

 

 

Torres’ batting average has leveled out though, as the quality of pitching has increased. There seems to be little problem with his glove, so if his hitting improves, the Yanks will have their shortstop of the future.

 

 

Where Legends Have Roamed

 

Some of the greatest players in baseball history have roamed the outfield at Yankee Stadium. The next two highest rated MLB prospects in the Yankee fold are a pair of extremely talented outfielders, each making Law’s top 30.

 

 

Blake Rutherford is deemed the most talented player the Yankees have drafted since Jeter, considered by some experts to own top 5 rated skills. But, the most intriguing of all the young Yankees may be the kid tagged with the nickname “Popeye the Frazier Man”.

 

 

Clint Frazier already is deemed to possess one of the fastest bats in baseball. Although he has been a mild disappointment since coming over in a trade with the Indians, late last summer his bat started to improve over the last month.

 

 

Both Frazier and Rutherford have the raw speed to leg out extra base hits when they arrive at Yankee Stadium. Intriguing, considering the big gaps at “The House that Ruth Built”.

 

With a bevy of hard throwing pitchers already on the major league roster, and two more in this same top 50 prospects list, having three of the most highly touted fielders certainly gives pinstripe fans reason for hope. One thing about baseball in New York, there never seems to be too many years between champions, and these three youngsters may catapult the Yankees back to their customary prominence.

 

USF Lady Bulls Aim to Slay the Giant of Women’s College Basketball

The USF Lady Bulls are fresh off their 5th conference victory, besting the SMU Lady Mustangs, Wednesday in Dallas, Texas. Sunday Coach Jose Fernandez’s squad will play a nationally televised contest against the Temple Lady Owls, tip-off at high noon in Philadelphia. On the line is second place in the conference standings and potential #2 to tournament seed.

 

 

Avoid the Lady Huskies

 

The #1 seed come conference tournament time is pretty much a foregone conclusion. The University of Connecticut Lady Husky squad has set the benchmark for excellence across all college sports.

 

 

Geno Auriemma’s UConn team has won the NCAA title eleven times, a feat matched by no other school in collegiate basketball history. While UConn appears the overwhelming favorite in their quest for a twelfth crown, the USF Bulls have also established themselves as a perennial power.

 

 

Perennial National Prominence

 

Catching the class of women’s college basketball may not be realistic for the Lady Bulls. Finishing the season strong enough to earn another berth in the women’s national championship tournament is realistic. Last week the Sun Dome Arena was treated to Fernandez’s 300th career victory, spanning a stellar 17-years as the Bull’s boss.

 

 

During his tenure, Fernandez has led South Florida to a dozen post-season appearances, including seven with more than twenty wins. This year the Lady Bulls have responded with maybe their best year yet. USF already has 15 victories against two solitary losses, one of those to Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford.

 

 

The Giant Comes to the Sun Dome Arena

 

USF splits the last 10 conference games, half on the road and the other half at the Sun Dome in Tampa. South Florida will sandwich 3 straight Sun Dome games in the middle of a pair of back to road tilts as they head down the final 10 game stretch.

 

 

A victory over the University of Cincinnati on February 1st, plus a split in the two games against Temple, and USF could clinch the #2 tournament seed. Earning the second seed means they would be in the opposite bracket from the UConn powerhouse.

 

Before the tournament time, USF will have one more chance to slay the giant. On Monday, February 27th, South Florida will welcome the all-time winningest team in college basketball to the Sunshine State. If the Lady Bulls continue to play well, USF will have a shot at snapping the longest undefeated streak in basketball history.

 

Tampa Bay Trade Russian Defenseman To Clear Space For Salary Cap

The National Hockey League team, the Tampa Bay Lightning have just announced that they are doing a major trade. Tampa Bay has traded Nikita Nesterov to the Montreal Canadians. Nikita Nesterov is a 23 year old Russian defenseman who is considered to be an up and coming player with a lot of potential. Nesterov has played 35 games so far for the Tampa Bay Lightening. In that period he has scored three goals and made nine assists. This season was one of his best in his career. Previously, he has scored eight goals and made 20 assists in a total of 119 career games.

 

Russian defenseman Nikita Nesterov was on a $725,000 per year contract with the Lightening. In exchange for trading Nikita Nesterov to the Montreal Canadians, the Lightening have received lower division defenseman, Jonathon Racine as well as a sixth round draft pick that was originally reserved for the Montreal Canadians. Jonathon Racine, who is now a member of the Tampa Bay Lightening has only played a single NHL game in his career. He joined the NHL in 2011 as the 87th draft pick of the year. He currently plays for lower division team, the St. John’s IceCaps.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightening will now be free of the salary allotment that was paid to Nikita Nesterov. Club officials say that the reason they decided to trade Nikita Nesterov to the Canadians for a new draft pick and a backup defenseman was that the team needed to free up salary allotment space. Current players, Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson are expected to receive an increase to their salaries. Johnson and Palat are both on $3.33 million dollar salaries that have reached their cap. Drouin who is on a $894,167 salary is also at his capped salary.

 

The trade of Nikita Nesterov will allow the Tampa Bay Lightening to use their salary allotment to retain players such as Drouin, Palat and Johnson as well as goalkeeper, Ben Bishop. Tampa Bay is currently 6th place in the Atlantic Division and it seems a playoff run is unlikely. The team currently has 22 wins and 22 losses. Their last game was a loss to fellow Florida side, the Florida Panthers 2-1. Their next game is on the 31st of January when they host the Boston Bruins.

 

Forsythe Trade Suggests Rays are Looking to Replenish Farm System

A few days ago, the Tampa Bay Rays again did what the organization tends to do: trade an established veteran player for a promising prospect.

 

Tampa Bay sent second baseman Logan Forsythe to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prized pitching prospect Jose De Leon, a 24-year-old right-hander. The move may have cost Tampa Bay a reliable player, but does help replenish a farm system that is considered middle-of-the-pack at the moment.

 

Forsythe has had the two seasons of his career with the Rays, hitting .281 with 17 homers and 68 RBIs in 2015 and then belting a career-high 20 homers to go with 52 RBIs and a .264 average this past season. He also was considered an above-average defender.

 

In his place, Tampa Bay does land Jose De Leon who is regarded as one of better pitching prospects in the game. He is considered the third-best overall prospect in the Dodgers’ system after going 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He struck out 111 batters in 86.1 innings there, then was 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA during a September call-up to the Dodgers.

 

While the trade of Forsythe won’t go down with the current roster as Rays third baseman Evan Longoria already has voiced displeasure over it, Tampa Bay has used its developmental program to good benefit in the past. The Rays have usually produced some solid pitching prospects in the past such as David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, and Chris Archer.

 

However, there have been some concern over the dip in its farm system of late. In mid-January, ESPN’s Keith Law rated the Rays’ farm system as the 19th-best out the 30 Major League Baseball organizations. This was prior to the De Leon trade, so it is possible the Rays have moved a couple of spots up.

 

In particular, 2016 was a rough year for some of the Rays top arms. The top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell dealt with injuries while other top arms such as Taylor Guerrieri and Jacob Faria took steps back in their development. In De Leon, the Rays get a player who is almost major-league ready and possibly by as soon as Opening Day in 2017.

 

After going 68-94 in 2016, Tampa Bay may be looking to collectively bring another set of promising prospects to fruition with an eye toward having a successful run a few seasons down the road.

The formidable Pasco’s Jordyn Kadlub

The postseason of the high school girls’ soccer has commenced with the beginning of the region play. The cost of the admission is just $7 for a game based on the talent of the Tampa Bay of the players such as Pasco High’s Jordyn Kadlub. There are major reasons why fans should come out in large numbers to watch the sophomore and her counterparts play.

 

One of the most important reason is that she has scored more than 50 goals under her name. The 50 goals are the 18 games, the figure that put her among the top five in the state. According to the MaxPreps, she is averaging about hat trick per matchup and still, she hasn’t come close to the number of her freshman of 58 goals. Incase Pasco manages to extend the post season she might beat the record that was set by the Ridgewood’s Melissa Wells in the season of 1990-91. She says that she plays for fun. She noted that this season has been terrific for her and her teammates since they managed to play all their games without losing.

 

Whenever Kadlub is playing there is a high possibility of her scoring a hat trick, this is another reason to draw the fans out to come and watch her play. For example during the district semifinal where they were pitted against Weeki Waache, she scored a hat trick and this was during the first half. Though the striker had four goals during this particular match, this was not the best performance of the season so far. She scored 7 goals against Zephyrhills, the match ended 8-0 this was in November. The Pasco coach notes that the way she plays is unique, whenever she sees an opportunity she takes it, she does not let it slip away.

 

Unlike other players who focus on a single game, Kedlub has plays two different sport games. Soccer is not her best, she plays softball as a pitcher. Even sports expert wonder how would one manage to be successful in two games at once. She has had 88 strikeouts in 101 as a freshman she manages all this in 101 innings. She says that she will decide later what game is for her in the future, but right now she just want to have fun.