Category: NHL

Alan Thicke’s role in the birth of the Tampa Bay Lightning

It was a shock to everyone when Alan Thicke died at age 69 right after enjoying a hockey game with his son, Carter, age 19.

 

Alan is remembered for playing the dad on the sitcom “Growing Pains“. He also hosted “Thicke of the Night,” a late-night talk show and was a very talented song writer writing the themes for “Diff’rent Strokes” and “The Facts of Life.”

 

In Tampa, Florida, Alan is also remembered by fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team because he was the on-ice pre-game host and the master of ceremonies for the inaugural game of the Lightning at Expo Hall against the Blackhawks on October 7, 1992. He also helped to promote the 1999 All-Star Game in Tampa.

 

With his life-long love of hockey and being an enthusiastic hockey fan, in addition to being a close friend of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, Alan had become friends with Lightning founder Phil Esposito when Esposito was a Rangers player. Thicke wrote the cult-classic song “Hockey Sock Rock” that Esposito sang and which was turned into a charity video. From that friendship came Alan‘s invitation to that first Lightning game.

 

It was hoped that the Tampa Bay Lightning found what was needed to pull themselves out of their recent rut with their recent 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames, when the Flames were considered to be the best Western team as December progressed and up in the standings to be in a playoff spot. However, the Lightning fell 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks in the season finale on December 17.

 

Back in September 2015, the Tampa Bay Lightning along with the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced that they were investing over $6 million over the coming five years in an extensive program, Build the Thunder. The mission is to grow the game of hockey and its fans and teach life skills lessons by players and alumni as role models and teachers to approximately 100,000 local young people who will learn critical educational and life skills.

 

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.

Steven Stamkos Expected to Remain with Tampa Bay Lightning

Sports Interaction has recently reported that it is very likely that Steven Stamkos will choose to remain with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is a hot topic of discussion right now in light of the free agency period that will begin on July 1, 2016. The 26-year old star has been intensely recruited by other teams in the league. With a record of 312 goals and 562 points in regular season games, Stamkos has been an incredible asset to Tampa so far. He has also been named to four NHL All-Star Games since 2011 and was the NHL’s leading goal-scorer in 2010 and 2012.

One thing that has made Tampa a bit nervous about keeping Stamkos is the salary cap, which prevents the team from making a more enticing offer to Stamkos. Right now, he has a $8.5 million per season deal, which started in January of this year and is set to last for eight years. There is some margin for another team to make a more competitive offer than Tampa is able to, which Tampa’s General Manager Steve Yzerman is now watching closely.

Odds makers predict that Detroit, Toronto and Buffalo all have decent odds at picking up Stamkos, although the consensus is that Stamkos will likely stick with Tampa at this point. The other teams that are considered top contenders right now are Boston, Montreal and Vancouver. The other free agents that are generating serious speculations about competitive offers are David Backes, Kyle Okposo and Milan Lucic.

The Captain Returns! Stamkos Stays with Lightning

After a tense period that seemed like an eternity for Tampa Bay Lightning fans, the wait is over. The captain will be back.

Steven Stamkos, star and captain of the Lightning, signed an eight-year contract worth $68 million to stay with his team.

Stamkos had visited several teams, including the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs, gauging interest before he became a free agent on July 1. But the captain ultimately decided to return to the team that drafted him, disappointing the many suitors lining up for one of the biggest potential free agents in NHL history.

The captain was drafted No. 1 overall by the Lightning in 2009 and has excelled since then. His average of 0.55 goals per game in his exceptional career have helped him win two goal-scoring titles. At just 26 and a proven goal-scorer, Stamkos commanded much attention as a young star in his prime.

By staying in Tampa, Stamkos remains the face of the franchise that made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 and within one game of returning this season. The Lightning were able to offer recent playoff success along with an eight-year contract, as opposed to the seven years other teams could offer.

Stamkos took to Twitter to announce that he was “excited to be back for 8 more years.”

“Most importantly, I look forward to working with my teammates, coaches and our management in our goal of winning a Stanley Cup,” he said in a statement.

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.