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Tampa Bay Lightning sign two, issue qualifying offers - analyzing what it all means


By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 26, 2017


Tampa Bay Lighting general manager Steve Yzerman got a jump on the summer checklist on Monday, ensuring two players were brought back under contract .

The team also issued qualifying offers to nine players while option not to qualify three other players, including one mild surprise.

There is still plenty of work to be done to round out the roster and prepare for the start of training camp in September to open the 2017-18 season. But Monday’s work likely gets the ball rolling.

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Tampa Bay Lightning development camp schedule and roster


By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 24, 2017


The Lightning released the full schedule and roster for this week’s prospect camp that opens Tuesday at the Ice Sports Forum and concludes on Saturday.

The event is free and open to the public each day, including the 3-on-3 tournament that will take place Friday and Saturday. The 3-on-3 tournament will be streamed on the team’s website at www.tampabaylightning.com on the final day of camp.

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Did the Lightning go off the board on day two of the NHL Draft?


By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 24, 2017


Chicago – The Lightning draft table lacked much action on Saturday as the NHL Draft concluded with rounds two through seven inside the United Center.

The only noticeable activity came when Director of Scouting Al Murray would rise from his chair and go around to the other side of the table in the few minutes before Tampa Bay was scheduled to make a selection as Murray made a quick poll to ensure the rest of the staff was on board.

So the Lightning entered the day with five picks and ended the day making five selections – two defenseman and three forwards. Among them a pair of Russian players, including one that appeared to be off the conventional board.

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Tampa Bay Lightning land a big Foote on the first day of the NHL draft


By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 22, 2017


Chicago – The Lightning headed in to Friday’s first round of the NHL Entry Draft looking to make an impression.

Tampa Bay instead left with a big Foote.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman kept hold of the first round pick and selected defenseman Callan Foote, the son of former NHL defenseman Adam Foote, who was a stalwart on the Colorado Avalanche during the team’s run of success.

The younger Foote - who wears a size 16 skate - may not have the same nastiness in his game that his father played with, but Cal Foote brings a competitive fire to his game to go with a strong hockey IQ, according to scouting reports. And he’s right-handed, something the organization continues to covet.

But Foote doesn't carry the same type of game as his father, and his dad said that's just fine.

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Full 2017-18 Tampa Bay Lightning season schedule released


By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 22, 2017


Chicago – The Lightning don’t have to leave the state to open up the 2017-18 season.

Tampa Bay opens up the season with back-to-back games against in-state rival Florida Panthers on Oct. 6 and 7, starting with the season opener at Amalie Arena followed the next night at BB&T Center in Sunrise.

The league’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, make their first trip to Amalie Arena on Jan. 18 while former Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop makes his return to Tampa with the Dallas Stars on Nov. 16. Jonathan Drouin, who was traded last week to the Montreal Canadiens, faces his former team for the first time when the Canadiens come to Amalie Arena on Dec. 28.

Tampa Bay will also have two matinees on the home schedule, on back to back weeks as both the March 3 game against Philadelphia and the March 10 game against Montreal will be 1 p.m. opening faceoffs.

Please click below for the full Lightning schedule.

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Lightning reportedly find their veteran backup goaltender


By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 19, 2017


The search for a veteran backup goaltender behind Andrei Vasilevskiy didn’t take the Lightning very long.

All they had to do was look down one locker stall over from Vasilevskiy, which was occupied by Peter Budaj.

Budaj, acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in Februar as part of the deal that sent Ben Bishop to the Kings, has agreed to a new two-year contract that carries a salary cap hit of $1.025 million per season. The deal was first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

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Tampa Bay Lightning expansion draft protected list offered only one surprise


By Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 18, 2017


Now the anticipation builds.

All 30 NHL teams have submitted their list of players they have protected for the expansion draft. Vegas general manager George McPhee and his staff have the opportunity to pour over the list of available players and go about the task of wheeling, dealing and assembling an initial 30-man roster from the available players.

Let the scrutiny, exasperated moments, shocked responses and numerous mock drafts (including one I'll participate in with The Scrum Sports guys) begin before it’s all revealed Wednesday night during the NHL Awards show on NBCSN.

Click below to see Tampa Bay’s list of protected players.

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Tampa to hosts 2018 NHL All-Star Game in January

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
May 29, 2017


The Stars of winter will fly south to Tampa.

The NHL officially announced that 2018 All-Star weekend will be held at on Jan. 27-28 at Amalie Arena. The skills competition will be held on the 27th while the All-Star Game, a 3-on-3 tournament format, will take place the afternoon on Jan. 28.

This will be the second time Tampa will serve as host for the NHL All-Star Weekend; the first was in 1999.

The news was first reported two weeks ago but was made official by the league on Monday just prior to puck drop of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

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Stars and Stripes prominent behind Stanley Cup Final benches

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
May 28, 2017


Stars and Stripes will be front and center standing behind the benches when the Stanley Cup Final begins in Pittsburgh on Monday.

In a sport dominated by Canadian coaches through the history of the game, American-born head coaches have been a rarity. It’s even more rare for one to have been the head coach of a Stanley Cup winning team.

Two American coaches facing off against each other in a Stanley Cup Final? Never happened.

Until now.

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Tampa reportedly set to host the 2018 NHL All-Star game

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
May 16, 2017


Tampa, Fla. – Tampa might soon be a popular spot for some All-Star gazing.

Amalie Arena is expected to be named as the host for NHL All-Star Weekend, which would be held the weekend of Jan. 27-28, 2018. Tampa last hosted the All-Star game in 1999.

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Conference finals - preview and predictions

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
May 12, 2017


Halfway home.

That’s where the NHL playoffs sit. Just over a month in to the second season, the number of teams have been whittled down from 16 to four as we reach the conference finals stage of the postseason.

The second round featured a few surprises, an unexpected expected result and one team exorcising recent demons at a time when many figured they would succumb to them once again.

And the second provided something the first round failed to – a winner-take-all Game 7, two of them in fact. In addition, all four series in round two went at least six games.

Now that it’s down to the final frozen four – Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa and Anaheim vs. Nashville – here’s a preview and prediction for the Eastern and Western conference finals.

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"It's terrifying'' to play waiting game as USA Womens' Olympic team to be selected Friday

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
May 4, 2017


Wesley Chapel, Fla. – After four days of intense competition at Olympic selection camp, the waiting game is the only one left to be played.

Since Monday, 42 players have been a part of Team USA’s camp at Florida Hospital Center Ice vying for the right to be among the group of 23 players that will represent the United States in February at the 2018 Games in South Korea.

The final step in that process comes on Friday when the players selected will be revealed during a live broadcast on NHL Network at 1 p.m. EDT during an event at Amalie Arena in Tampa.

Waiting for the call to determine whether or not you have been selected to the team is a nerve-wracking experience no matter how experienced the player.

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Honoring the one-year anniversary of a significant death

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
May 3, 2017


Today is the anniversary of my death.

It’s not in the literal sense, of course, as my fingers are still on a keyboard frantically typing away on a daily basis.

But May 3 will forever be remembered around this area as the day a Tampa institution was executed. For more than 120 years, The Tampa Tribune was an honored member of the community. It was invited in to homes, offices and places of employment. It served as a breakfast ritual or a lunchtime companion. The news that lined the pages wasn’t always pleasant to read, wasn’t always something everybody agreed with. Often times it entertained or offered a heartfelt human interest piece that would strike a chord within a community that rallied around somebody who might have fallen on hard times.

Other times the paper was a source of entertainment, whether it was seeking the latest antics of The Family Circus or seeing how big Dagwood would build his sandwich this time. There were crossword puzzles, word jumbles and Sudoku.

The sports pages were often that balance between being informed and being entertained in the section of the paper often pulled first by many after a quick grazing over the front page, which generally meant looking at what was above the fold before flipping back to the “C’’ section.

Every day, it was there. In the driveway. At the convenience store. In the doctor’s office. Sitting in the rack, waiting to be consumed.

That was all put to an end on May 3, 2016, the day the community lost all that. It was the day a part of me died.

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Path on "Gold or Bust'' for USA Women's Olympic team journey starts in Tampa

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
May 1, 2017


Wesley Chapel, Fla. – Sun, sand and surf. All the ingredients needed for a large group visiting Florida.

Just as summer temperatures are starting to heat up the mercury around town, 42 hopefuls for the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey team have hit the ice this week at Florida Hospital Center Ice for the selection camp that will determine the group of players that will represent the United States in 10 months in South Korea.

Holding the camp in Florida presents a vastly different backdrop for the players, who are used to being surrounded by snow and ice when the teams gather for these type of camps.

”To have a hockey camp in warm weather like this is exciting,’’ two-time Olympian Kacey Bellamy said. “We are always stuck in New England or Minnesota in the snow. So I think this is good for us mentally and physically getting outside in the sun and just a different atmosphere.’’

While there will be some down time to enjoy the Florida outdoors, make no mistake, this camp is all business for the 42 women vying to be named to the final 23-woman Olympic roster that will be looking to bring home the first Gold Medal for the U.S. in women’s hockey since 1998 and ending a run of Olympic disappointment.

”This time through, it’s gold or bust,’’ forward Hillary Knight said.

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NHL Draft Lottery to be held on Saturday

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
April 28, 2017


From NHL press release.

The 2017 NHL Draft Lottery, which will determine the order of selection for the first 15 picks in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft, will be held on Saturday, April 29, in Toronto. The results of the NHL Draft Lottery will be announced shortly after 8 p.m. ET, during live coverage of the event on NBC.

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Conference semifinals previews and predictions

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
April 24, 2017


The thrilling first round of the playoffs ended on Sunday night, 12 days after it started.

Along the way there were a record 18 overtime games, plenty of highly entertaining affairs and just as many close games. There were low-scoring games decided by one goal and high-scoring games decided by one goal. There were very few blow outs.

And for the first time since 2001, none of the eight series featured a deciding Game 7.

Some interesting notes about the first round, from Elias Sports Bureau – Twenty-eight of the 42 games were decided by one goal (66.7 percent) while 33 were decided by two goals after an empty-net goal (78.6 percent). … Seventeen of the 42 games saw the winning team overcome a deficit of at least one goal, nine of them were multi-goal comebacks. There were also eight teams that rallied from behind when trailing in the third period.

So now that the first period is behind, the second round gets underway on April 26. Here’s a look ahead to the conference semifinals, including my predictions.

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NHL 2017 playoffs, three things that stand out each night

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
June 8, 2017


The NHL playoffs are like no other in sports. From the atmosphere in the arenas to the anticipation of the opening faceoff there is a certain buzz that builds up throughout the day and into the night. Sometimes deep in to the night.

Every shift is scrutinized, every shot on goal is met with a slight rise up out of the seat in the event that it might end up in the back of the net. As the clock starts to wind down and the games remain close, the nerves become more frittered and heart beats become faster and faster.

So each morning, we’ll recap what went on around the NHL and what stood out with three takeaways from the games that took place.

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NHL Western Conference playoff capsules and predictions

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
April 12, 2017


It's that time of season where previews and predictions and opinions are abundant.

So why should it be any different here at LightningInsider.com?

Just because Tampa Bay did not make the postseason dance - enter sad emoji face here - doesn't mean we can't have a little fun in trying to prognosticate exactly how the playoffs will play out. Plus, it gives you and everybody else the chance to tell me why I'm wrong and how pitiful my bracket might look compared to yours.

So here are my previews and predictions

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NHL Eastern Conference capsules and predictions

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
April 12, 2017


It's that time of season where previews and predictions and opinions are abundant.

So why should it be any different here at LightningInsider.com?

Just because Tampa Bay did not make the postseason dance - enter sad emoji face here - doesn't mean we can't have a little fun in trying to prognosticate exactly how the playoffs will play out. Plus, it gives you and everybody else the chance to tell me why I'm wrong and how pitiful my bracket might look compared to yours.

So here are my previews and predictions

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Want to win a Lightning team signed jersey? Here's how

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
April 11, 2017


All subscribers to LightningInsider.com are eligible to win an exclusive Tampa Bay Lightning team signed jersey by participating in the NHL Bracket Challenge league set up for the contest.

Here's what you have to do in order to win this jersey.

First you must be a subscriber to this website. If not, sign up here

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The final week of the season for the Lightning: Who are they chasing and what are they facing?

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
April 3, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - The focus now shifts for fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

While getting little to no help from any other teams around the league, the chances of the Lightning reaching the postseason this year has diminished. Even on a night in which Tampa Bay won, defeating Dallas 6-3, the chances of Tampa Bay reaching the postseason actually dropped, albeit less than half-of-a-percent.

So as Boston and Toronto, the two teams Tampa Bay has been chasing for the better part of the past month, continue to win games, how are the Lightning supposed to make up ground in the standings?

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Photo gallery: Lightning vs Blackhawks

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 27, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - Courtesy of Getty Images, here is a brief photo gallery of photos from Tampa Bay's 5-4 overtime victory against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.

The victory keeps Tampa Bay in the playoff picture (pun intended) as the Lightning moved to within one point of the Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Please click "Read More'' for access (no paywall restrictions)

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Why Lightning fans are big Predators fans this week, and how Detroit's unusual schedule favors Tampa Bay

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 26, 2017


Welcome to the final two weeks of the NHL season. It’s not make-or-break time for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but what happens this week will go a long way toward determining whether or not the Lightning will still have a chance leading in to the final week.

And there are some things to keep an eye on that will have an impact and could work in Tampa Bay’s favor, including why Lightning fans need to be big Nashville Predator fans this week.

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Trying to making some sense of the Slater Koekkoek recall situation

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 24, 2017


The sight of seeing another Lightning player have to be helped off the ice during a game is becoming somewhat of a numbing experience for Tampa Bay and its fans.

But that doesn’t mean the impact is not felt.

Tampa Bay will be without defenseman Jason Garrison for the foreseeable future after he left Thursday’s game in Boston with an apparent injury to his right leg/ankle area. Garrison needed help off the ice and back to the locker room, unable to put any weight on the right leg.

Ahead of tonight’s game at Detroit (Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM, tblpowerplay.com) Tampa Bay has called up defenseman Slater Koekkoek from the Syracuse Crunch on an emergency basis. Koekkoek is expected to be in the lineup tonight against the Red Wings.

But there has been plenty of confusion as to exactly how the Lightning, which are out of regular recalls, were able to call Koekkoek up. I’ll try to explain it as best as I can.

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Lightning honor 100-year-old World War II survivor as 36th Community Hero

Staff report | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 20, 2017



The Tampa Bay Lightning honored 100-year-old Bill Monfort as the 36th Lightning Community Hero of the 2016-17 season during the first period of tonight’s game versus the Arizona Coyotes. Monfort, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Angels Unaware.

Monfort and his wife, Bessie, gave birth to their first child Rossie in 1959. Rossie weighed only two pounds and her prognosis was so poor that the hospital did not even record her footprints. Miraculously, Rossie lived, and as she grew, the Monfort’s realized she was developmentally disabled. When keeping Rossie safe became difficult, the Monfort’s placed her in the nearest state institution, a place called Sunland in Fort Myers. After attempting to seek alternative options in the area, Monfort decided to start his own charity.

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Rested and refreshed, Lightning ready for final stretch to keep playoff hopes alive

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 20, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – When the Lightning last left the ice at Amalie Arena on Saturday, the team looked beaten and worn down.

After finishing off a stretch of six games in 10 days while enduring late-night travel delays getting out of Ottawa. With a patchwork lineup, the Lightning pushed hard until the end of the stretch.

But with 11 games left on the schedule and Tampa Bay chasing a playoff spot, even getting two days off between games can be a welcomed relief.

And that’s what the previous two days did for the Lightning as they head in to must-win game against Arizona on Tuesday looking refreshed and rested, not to mention a little healthier, as they reset to mindset.

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Breaking down the schedule: Who has the easier path to the final playoff spot?

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 20, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Buckle up, the final 21 days of the season are going to be a bumpy, emotional ride.

With three teams – Tampa Bay, Toronto and New York Islanders updated also to include Boston- within two points of each for the final wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference standings, there will be plenty of scoreboard watching taking place – at least from the fans.

”To be honest, you are going to drive yourself crazy if you keep going to the standings and check how did Toronto do, how did the Islanders do, on and on and on,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “The bottom line is you have to come to work and pull points out of games because if we don't get any points out of games there is no sense in looking at the standings.’’

Well, we know Cooper may not be keeping close tabs on the standings, but there will be plenty of other eyes keeping an eye on them. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the upcoming schedule for each of the three teams vying for the final spot and see who has the easier path to the final postseason berth.

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The Lightning will host the third annual Bolts Family Carnival on Sunday

Staff report | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 18, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – The third annual Bolts Family Carnival will be held at Amalie Arena on Sunday.

This is a great family event in which all the proceeds go to benefit the Lightning Foundation and will be dispersed to different charitable organizations around the Bay Area.

There is no better way for fans to get up close and personal with some of their favorite Lightning personalities.

Want to play video games against J.T. Brown? Or how about Bubble Boy Hockey against Tyler Johnson? Ping-pong against Ryan Callahan? These are just some of the examples of what you can do during the event.

There are also select autograph sessions, mystery bag purchases, locker room tours and, of course, carnival style games to play.

Click below for full details and how to buy tickets to this limited event.

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Palat joins the list of injured forwards for Tampa Bay Lightning

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 17, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – As the Lightning began practice Friday afternoon, Ondrej Palat slowly made his way toward the player’s parking lot, limping his way out of Amalie Arena.

In a long laundry list of injuries incurred by the Lightning recently, Palat looks to be the next man down for Tampa Bay.

Already without centers Tyler Johnson, Vladislav Namestnikov and Cedric Paquette, Palat’s status is questionable as the team is expected to announce the recall of Joel Vermin from Syracuse of the American Hockey League before Saturday’s game against Washington (7 p.m. EDT, Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM and tblpowerplay.com

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A bit of lineup intrigue following Lightning morning skate

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 11, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Some sense of intrigue around Amalie Arena this morning.

First, the Florida Panthers were nowhere around the rink after they experienced travel issues trying to get to Tampa following last night’s game at BB&T Center against the Minnesota Wild. So the Panthers left Ft. Lauderdale this morning at 10:30 and did not come to the rink, which means there was no lineup updates for the Panthers, who gave up seven goals (two empty net goals) against the Wild with James Reimer in net. With Roberto Luongo out, Reto Berra is the backup goaltender.

But what about the Lightning lineup? Could Steven Stamkos actually play?

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Looking at scenarios - including Stamkos - with injuries to three Lightning centers

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 10, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Have to admit, watching the Lightning game against Minnesota on Thursday and seeing three players go down with injury who all play the same position and suffer similar style injures feels unprecedented.

In the span of five minutes of the second period, Vladislav Namestnikov and Tyler Johnson had to be helped off the ice after suffering injuries of some capacity to their left leg and neither was able to put any weight on the leg as they were taken to the trainer’s room.

Then in the third period, Cedric Paquette tackled Nino Niederreiter – who delivered the hit on Johnson earlier - from behind and as the two fell backwards, Paquette had his left leg get caught under him forcing it to twist on the way to the ice.

While head coach Jon Cooper did not paint a positive picture for recovery, though Johnson was seen by others walking out of the arena under his own power without any aid.

So while the prognosis on any of the players won’t be known until Friday at the earliest, there are a few options Tampa Bay has to fill the role of all three players, assuming all are out for the long term.

And how does Steven Stamkos factor in to all of these scenarios?

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USF Ice Bulls play for the love of the game, no matter the cost

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 8, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – For the love of the game.

Club college hockey players pay to play. No athletic scholarships are offered by the school. Ice time has to be purchased, equipment is not provided and travel fees come out of pocket.

Late night practices are the norm, sometimes up to 45 minutes away, which used to be the case for the USF Hockey club team, which has been around since 1989 and competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association at the Division III level.

There are no NHL scouts knocking down doors with contract offers in hand.

Yet, they play, because they love the game. In many ways, the game loves them back.

While that passion fuels play on the ice, it’s not enough to fully fuel USF’s trip to the ACHA National Championship, which takes place in Columbus, Ohio, from March 14-18. USF opens play on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. against Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Mich.) in Pool C, which also includes Farmingdale (N.Y.) State and Colorado State. The winner of the pool advances to the semifinals on March 17 with the championship game scheduled for March 18.

To help pay for the trip, USF Hockey has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to cover the cost of the trip to Columbus, with each player seeking to raise $750 to cover expenses. Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown, who saw a tweet from Lightning Insider and donated $725 to go toward Terrance Glanton, the lone African-American player on the team.

Brown said he “wanted to support a fellow black hockey player. Hopefully they will raise the total amount trip so they can all take the trip to nationals.’’

But in the end, passion is the driving force, embodied in part by the likes of freshman goaltender Sam Coleman, who thought he left the game behind before being pulled back in.

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Might Budaj make his first Lightning start in Pittsburgh on Friday?

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 2, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – The Lightning’s last trip to Pittsburgh went about as well as a chain smoker trying to run the Boston Marathon.

Tampa Bay was humiliated by the defending Stanley Cup champions by a 6-2 score on Jan. 8. It felt almost as if things had hit rock bottom at the time as the Lighting suffered a fourth-consecutive loss and accomplished something that had never happened in the Jon Cooper era until then, the team allowed five or more goals in four consecutive games.

It came at a time when Ben Bishop was injured and Andrei Vasilevskiy played every single minute of action in the nine games Bishop was out.

So heading back to Steel City (7 p.m., Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM)and in desperate need of points after watching nearly every team around the Lightning in the standings pick up points on Thursday, might head coach Jon Cooper and the staff turn to newly acquired goaltender Peter Budaj to make his first start?

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Tampa Bay Lightning trade deadline updates

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
March 1, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – It's trade deadline day around the NHL and while the Lightning were ahead of the curve, moving Brian Boyle and Ben Bishop earlier in the week, Tampa Bay is actively seeking to make more moves ahead of the 3 p.m. deadline.

Plenty of rumblings involving the Lightning leading up to the deadline with the potential for some surprising names in play on Tampa Bay's end.

Click below to get the run down, and I'll keep the paywall restrictions off this for the time being.

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All quiet on Lightning front - for now; Boyle praises Tampa as he and Bishop make debuts

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 28, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Silence.

That defined the Lightning on Tuesday – at least above the surface.

With the countdown to the trade deadline ticking down, Steve Yzerman – who made plenty of noise the previous two days in trading Ben Bishop to Los Angeles and Brian Boyle to Toronto – did not make a move on Tuesday.

But there was plenty of chatter taking place below the surface that the Lightning are still trying to make moves ahead of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline, with at least one player surfacing as a possible target to move.

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Ben Bishop traded to the Los Angeles Kings in pre-deadline move

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 26, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – The move felt inevitable. By Sunday morning, it seemed imminent.

Ben Bishop is no longer the backbone of the Tampa Bay Lightning success as he goes down as the most successful goaltender in franchise history. Bishop was traded to the Los Angeles Kings along with a 2017 fifth-round pick in exchange for veteran goaltender Peter Budaj, prospect defenseman Erik Cernak a seventh-round pick in 2017 along with a conditional pick in 2017.

Tampa Bay will retain 20-percent of Bishop’s salary for the remainder of the season, according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN/ESPN.

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Speculation swirls as Bishop misses practice and uneasiness of trade deadline reigns

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 26, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – It’s that time of the year.

When a player misses practice, eye brows rise up and speculation swirls.

The NHL trade deadline elicits that sort of response, particularly when that player has been churned through the rumor mill for weeks, if not months. So when Ben Bishop did not emerge from the locker room for the start of practice on Sunday, needless to say, it set off a mini storm of speculation.

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While Lightning sit and stew following loss, team pulls off a minor trade

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 25, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Nothing like sitting on the sidelines waiting for the chance to get back in to action.

For the Lightning, it’s almost like being sat in timeout for three days after falling to the Calgary Flames and being told to face the wall and think about what they just did.

Now, they have to sit around and stew over the 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames before they return to action on Monday against Ottawa. To help pass the time, the Lightning did pull off a minor trade.

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What to watch for as Tampa Bay Lightning host Calgary

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 23, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Not a whole lot going on at the Lightning morning skate today as they get ready to host the Calgary Flames 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM, tblpowerplay.com in the final stretch of eight consecutive games against Western Conference opponents.

Tampa Bay carries a seven-game point streak heading in to the game and, with a victory, have the chance to move to within two points of a playoff spot by the end of the night. Other games that have an impact on the Eastern Conference standings as it relates to Tampa Bay: Toronto hosts the New York Rangers, Islanders at Montreal and Boston at Los Angeles.

The Lightning got some help on Wednesday when Florida, Philadelphia and Boston all lost in regulation.

So here are the three things to watch for tonight as Tampa Bay returns to action including who might we see in net, who might not be able to play and when .

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Callahan shut down indefinitely following second surgery

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 22, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – In an announcement that always felt like it was looming, Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan is out indefinitely following a second procedure on his right hip.

Callahan underwent the procedure on Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly. The operation is a follow up to the surgery Callahan underwent in June to repair a torn labrum, which was also performed by Dr. Kelly.

Callahan has not played since Jan. 7 at Philadelphia and is now listed as out in definitely. He has appeared in just 18 games this season as he attempted to return from the injury on three occasions this season.

With Callahan out, the Lightning have the flexibility to gain signifgant salary cap relief a week ahead of the NHL trade deadline.

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Lightning are rested, but have they developed rust over the bye week

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 17, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Gassers. Conditioning drills. Extra skating for allowing goals.

The Lightning returned to practice on Friday following five days off, hoping the extra skating gets the legs loose as they prepare to return to the grinding scheduled of the NHL season that resumes on Saturday in Dallas (8 p.m. EST, Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM).

But finding their legs won’t come easy as the season has already shown that teams emerging from their bye week have struggled in the first game back, posting a 3-9-2 record through Friday, with Los Angeles the latest to falter in its return, allowing two goals in the opening five minutes to Arizona in a 5-3 loss while Carolina lost in overtime at home to Colorado Friday night.

Being off the ice for two days can take a toll on a hockey team. Being off the ice for five days is unprecedented, at least until earlier this season as teams started to go through the process of dealing with the bye week.

Most haven’t dealt with it well.

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Theresa Feaster paving her own path as a hockey pioneer

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 16, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Pioneers pave paths judged primarily by history.

The first few steps down that trail often go unnoticed, even by those carving out the space.

”I’ve just always loved the game and been very fortunate that I’ve been able, so far and I’m still fairly young, to have a job in hockey,’’ Theresa Feaster said. “I’m thankful for that every day. I don’t really think of myself as the pioneer sort, it’s never crossed my mind.’’

While Feaster may not realize it, she is a pioneer. When other women find their niche working in the male dominated world of men’s hockey, they will point to the work Feaster is doing – and has already done – with the Providence College men’s hockey program.

She is blazing a trail others are sure to follow.

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Another top forward lost to injury, Vermin recalled

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 4, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – A season already on the brink of falling off the cliff - if it hasn't already - in due part to major injuries to key players may now have hit another top forward for the the Lightning.

The Lightning are already without captain Steven Stamkos, who is out a minimum of another five-to-six weeks, along with Ryan Callahan, who has had issues in recovering from off-season hip surgery. Now another top-six forward may be on the verge of dealing with an injury that could keep him out of the lineup for an undetermined amount of time.

Left wing Joel Vermin was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League as Ondrej Palat will be out tonight as Tampa Bay hosts Anaheim on Saturday (7 p.m., Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM and tblpowerplay.com at Amalie Arena.

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Three things to watch for as Tampa Bay Lightning host Ottawa

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 1, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa Bay looks to rebound from a difficult loss in the last game as the get set to host the Ottawa Senators tonight (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM and tblpowerplay.com at Amalie Arena.

Tampa Bay can't afford to suffer any sort of a losing/winless streak as the Lightning start the game sitting in 14th place in the Eastern Conference and has just one win in the past six games (1-3-2) and is without a victory in the past two games, both of then against Atlantic Division teams. Tonight's game against Ottawa ends a stretch of three consecutive games against division team before beginning a run of eight consecutive games against Western Conference opponents.

Here are three things to watch for tonight as the Lightning return to action.

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Reaction to Brad Marchand receiving no supplemental discipline for slew foot to Anton Stralman

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
February 1, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – No player is more polarizing in the league right now than Boston Bruin All-Star Brad Marchand.

Boston fans love the agitating winger who embraces the role as public enemy No. 1 from opposting team fans. He gets under the skin of opponents with his trash-talking ability and arrogant way he carries himself. But he backs up his play with top line abilities which earned him a spot riding shotgun to Sidney Crosby at the World Cup this summer and an All-Star berth last weekend in Los Angeles.

But then there is the side fans – and many other opposing players and teams – see all too often – the “dirty rat’’ side, as he’s been described by more than one person during his career. It’s that side of him that has him in hot water once again, even if he is not going to receive any further supplemental discipline – his slew foot of Anton Stralman during Tuesday’s game at Amalie Arena.

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What to watch for as Tampa Bay Lightning host Boston Bruins

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 31, 2017


BRANDON, Fla. – Tampa Bay returns to the ice following four days off for the All-Star break as the Lightning host the Boston Bruins tonight (7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM and tblpowerplay.com at Amalie Arena.

Tampa Bay trails the Bruins, who currently occupy the No. 3 spot in the Atlantic Division, by six points with two games in hand. Points are at a premium for both teams with the playoffs chase starting to enter the final stretch run. Both teams want to start the unofficial start of the second half of the season on the right note.

Here are three things to watch for tonight as the Lightning return to action.

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Tampa Bay Lightning trade Nikita Nesterov, acquire Jonathan Racine from Montreal

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 26, 2017


SUNRISE, Fla. – The Lightning pulled the trigger on a trade Thursday, shipping defenseman Nikita Nesterov to Montreal in exchange for minor league defenseman Jonathan Racine and sixth-round draft pick in 2017.

Nesterov took part in the morning skate and was scheduled to dress as the seventh defenseman on Thursday against the Florida Panthers. The trade was announced just after warmups started at BB&T Center.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said the move was made to alleviate potential roster reasons.

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Former Lightning foward Jonathan Marchessault proving himself with Florida

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 26, 2017


SUNRISE, Fla. – When Jonathan Marchessault left the Lightning organization over the summer, it was not the team’s choice to let skilled winger depart.

As an unrestricted free agent, Marchessault sought an opportunity for an expanded role, an opportunity to show that he could be a difference maker. It’s a role that Tampa Bay was unable to guarantee the former undrafted winger.

So Marchessault moved down the state and signed a two-year deal with the Florida Panthers, seeking the chance to play more. And when opportunity came knocking, he jumped right past the threshold and has been an important part of his team team.

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Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Brayden Point nearing return to the lineup

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 26, 2017


SUNRISE, Fla. – Brayden Point was in the midst of enjoying a strong rookie season, making the jump from juniors straight in to the NHL.

The former third-round draft pick from 2014 started off in a smaller role that expanded to the point where he was getting regular minutes in a top-nine, and sometimes top-six role, starting at the wing before getting chances at his natural center position, recording three goals and 15 points through 36 games.

His season went off tracks on Dec. 28 against Montreal when he suffered a fracture in his hand that has kept him out of the lineup.

But as the All-Star break comes, Point is getting closer to a return.

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Tampa Bay Lightning Morning skate update at Florida; Jan. 26

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 25, 2017


SUNRISE, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning close out the pre-All Star game schedule tonight against the Florida Panthers and appear to be making few changes to the lineup that won in Chicago on Tuesday.

Tampa Bay will be closing out a six-game road stand, carrying a 2-2-1 record on the trip to this point. The Lightning are in desperate need of points, tied with five other teams at 49 points in positions 11-16 in the Eastern Conference standings. Florida sits 10th with 50 points.

So the importance level for tonight’s game is vital as the Lightning look to win consecutive games for just the second time since November.

Here is what went on at this morning’s skate at BB&T Center:

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Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers rivalry has taken a step back

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 25, 2017


SUNRISE, Fla. – After the success of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers last year, the Sunshine State appeared on the verge of a frozen takeover.

Both teams made the playoffs in the same season for just the second time since both franchises have been in the league. A second round meeting was derailed when the New York Islanders bounced the Panthers in the first round that would have heated up the in-state rivalry to a new level.

That led to heightened expectations for both franchises entering this season. And when each team started the year 2-0 heading in to their first meeting back in October, it looked like the rivalry would continue to build.

Oh how things have changed since then.

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Three things to look for as Tampa Bay Lightning return to Chicago

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 24, 2017


The Tampa Bay Lightning return to action tonight at United Center to face the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. on Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM and tblpowerplay.com) in rematch of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final (which at this point seems like years ago)

This is just Tampa Bay’s second trip to the United Center since losing Game 6 of the Final. Last season the Lightning lost 1-0 in overtime in the opening month.

Things have certainly changed for Tampa Bay this season, while the Blackhawks keep plugging along, sitting in second in the Central Division. The Lightning enter the game occupying the basement in the Eastern Conference standings.

As Tampa Bay looks to snap a three-game winless streak, here are three things to look for heading in to tonight’s game.

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Mailbag version 1-2 touches on roster questions, the GM and who wears the A's

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 23, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. – Thank you to those who sent in questions for the first mailbag last week, which leads us to the second edition of the mailbag.

This is something which requires audience participation from you, the audience. So to get in your questions, you can reach me via Twitter and use the search tag #LightningInsider, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send in your question via Facebook at Facebook.com/LightningInsider with your questions. Anything is game (within reason) and I'll do my best to answer it as I can.

So here is this week’s mailbag filled with lots of trade and roster questions, but touches on some other topics as well. Keep the questions coming and let’s keep interacting.

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Tampa Bay Lightning Insider Mailbag, edition No. 1

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 17, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - I'd like to start a regular rotation here on taking your questions in a mailbag format.

This is something which requires audience participation from you, the audience. So to get in your questions, you can reach me via Twitter and use the search tag #LightningInsider or you can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your questions. Anything is game (within reason) and I'll do my best to answer it as I can.

So here is the first of what I hope will be many of these interactions.

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By the Numbers: 26 numbers to define the career of Marty St. Louis

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 12, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - Throughout his career Marty St. Louis was defined in many ways.

From his size, his tenacity, his professionalism, his work ethic and his on-ice presence.

Through it all, St. Louis proved to be all of that and more when it came to his 17-year career that spanned three franchises. But he made his mark while donning the No. 26 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, proving to be the heart-and-soul of the franchise during his time in Tampa.

This is where he grew up as a player. This is where he became an MVP. This is where he became a household name in NHL circles all around North America.

As his number rises to the rafters in a pregame ceremony before facing the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday (6:30 p.m., Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM) here are 26 numbers that defined the career of Marty St. Louis.

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Two players set to return, but surprise, somebody else injured for Tampa Bay Lightning

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 11, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa Bay returned to the ice for a rare second consecutive day of practice and everything was status quo.

For this team, nowadays, the status quo from one day to the next is not a bad thing when it comes to what personnel are on the ice. That means no new injuries cropped up - unless you count the one that came out of left field involving Adam Erne, who was diagnosed with fractured foot after he was returned to Syracuse on Tuesday. Because he was injured blocking a shot during Sunday's loss in Pittsburgh, he was officially returned to the Lightning roster and will be placed on injured reserve.

But as far as who is on track to return for Thursday's game against Buffalo (7:30, Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM), there is some good news.

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Insider exclusive: Q&A with Stacy Roest on #CanaBolts

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 10, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Lightning are holding midseason scouting meetings in town this week.

This annual meeting allows the scouts to compare notes on players in the system, discuss organizational issues that may need addressing, where the farm system stands as well as the upcoming draft later this summer.

Lightning Director of Player Development Stacy Roest is among the staff members in town and was in the stands during Lightning practice on Wednesday. Fresh off watching the World Junior championships, which concluded last week with U.S.A. taking gold over Canada with a shootout victory, Roest had an up-close look at the five Lightning prospects that represented Canada - Mitchell Stephens, Taylor Raddysh, Mathieu Joseph, Anthony Cirelli and Connor Ingram.

I had the chance to catch up with Roest to get his thoughts on what he saw during the World Juniors and the health of the team's farm system at the moment>

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Hedman, Kucherov named All-Stars; Tampa Bay Lightning injury updates

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 10, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Bay Lightning returned to the ice Tuesday determined to find the cure for what ails them

After taking a day off following back-to-back games on the road over the weekend, the team spent an extended time pouring over video in the locker room before emerging down the hallway toward the ice. And with some of the issues the team has had, allowing 22 goals during a four-game losing streak, there is plenty to go over.

The on-ice session was broken up in to two different sessions, with the Zamboni cleaning the ice in between.

But it was also quite a newsy day, particularly based on who emerged from the locker room to take part in practice.

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Tampa Bay Lightning prospects on the move

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 9, 2017


The trade deadline for the Ontario Hockey League comes on Tuesday, but there was some notable action taking place on Monday.

Among the moves that took place, three Tampa Bay Lightning prospects were on the move. Of the three, two recently captured a silver medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships that concluded a week ago.

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World Juniors showcase Lightning talent

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 5, 2017


As gloomy and dark as the present feels for the Lightning, the future continues to look bright.

Tampa Bay's group of prospects playing for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships showed just that over the past two weeks.

The gold medal game of the World Juniors took place on Thursday, and it was one for ages, decided in a shootout between Canada and the United States.

And once again, Tampa Bay's group of players had an impact on the game won by the U.S. 5-4 in a shootout.

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Morning skate update vs. Nashville

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 5, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - It was a light load around the Lightning locker room on Thursday as Tampa Bay prepares to face the Nashville Predators (7:30 p.m. Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM) with a very optional morning skate.

In fact it was so light on the ice, the goaltenders outnumbered the skaters by a 3-to-1 ratio.

But that's not a big surprise as the standard situation is when the team has a full practice the day before a game, the game-day skate is optional. And with back-to-back games this weekend, rest is a weapon.

There were, however, a few updates on who might be playing.

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Lightning prospects have big impact in WJC semifinals

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 4, 2017


The tension was palpable. Canada, playing an international hockey tournament on home soil, simply is not allowed to lose.

It's a thought that can keep a group of teenage hockey players up at night.

About eight minutes in to Canada's semifinal meeting with Sweden on Wednesday at Bell Centre in Montreal, that reality was staring the group of Canadian teenagers square in the face.

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Lightning prospects shine for Canada in quarterfinal win at World Juniors

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 2, 2017


Cause for concern regarding Canada chimed through Bell Centre on Monday.

The quarterfinal matchup against Czech Republic pitted the Canadians in an elimination game on home ice. And when the home team headed to the locker room trailing by a goal, the boo birds rained down as Canada exited the ice.

That's when a pair of Lightning prospects rose to the occasion.

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Adam Erne's awkward call-up moment

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 2, 2017


BRANDON, Fla. - Adam Erne picked up his phone and quickly answered without thinking who might be on the other end.

Erne had just called his dad, Erik, and when he didn't pick up, left a message for him to call him back.

So when his phone rang a few minutes after leaving the message, Erne just assumed it was his dad getting back to him. Only it wasn't his dad on the other end.

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Look who appeared at Lightning practice

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 2, 2017


BRANDON, Fla. - Seen Stamkos?

It's a question plenty have been asking since Lightning captain Steven Stamkos underwent surgery in November to repair a partially torn meniscus in his right knee suffered during a game at Detroit on Nov. 15. The rehab process is expected to keep him out until at least March.

Stamkos has not addressed the media since undergoing the surgery, which is not exactly uncommon for an injured player. But it has led plenty to inquire as to how things were going and how he was doing.

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Former Tampa Bay Lightning first round pick suspended 3 games

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 1, 2017


When the Lightning selected Anthony DeAngelo with the 19th overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft, there were red flags.

But the offensive, right-handed defenseman had a skill set the organization was desperately in need of at the time. So after doing their homework and chalking some of DeAngelo's incidents - which included an alleged racial slur directed at a teammate while in Sarnia - to lack of maturity from an 18-year-old, the Lightning used their first-round pick on the blue liner.

Perhaps everybody's concerns were warranted.

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Adam Erne recalled as TampaCuse shuttle continues to run



 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
January 1, 2017


TAMPA, Fla. - After Lightning head coach Jon Cooper met the media following the morning skate on New Year's Eve, he was asked if he had an New Year's Resolutions.

He smiled and said his resolution starts with H. . . E . . . A . . . L . . . what's the next letter? It's T and ends in H. That's what we need.

The Lightning, it seems, were unable to get through the final day of the year without once again being hit by the injury bug.

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Ingram gets the call for Canada on final day of pool play

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 31, 2016


The traditional New Year's Eve game between the U.S. and Canada at the World Junior Championships tends to be emotional and entertaining.

This year's version was no different, and with the top spot in Group B up for grabs, there was plenty on the line for both teams, including Canada's unbeaten streak on New Year's Eve against the Americans at seven games.

And for Lightning fans, there was strong interest in the game with 2016 draft pick Connor Ingram getting the call in net for Canada.

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Another forward misses practice and did Callahan come back to soon?

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 31, 2016


The injury sensors went on full alert Saturday morning with yet another player absent from a team practice.

Already bitten hard by the injury bug in recent weeks, it's easy to understand the concern anytime one of the Lightning's top players are not on the ice for a full practice, or in this case, a morning skate as Tampa Bay gets set to host Carolina (Fox Sports Sun, 970-AM, 7 p.m.) for a New Year's Eve clash.

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World Juniors Day 4: Raddysh shines for Canada

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 29, 2016


Rarely have the Lightning seen one of their junior prospects make headlines on the international stage.

On Thursday, Taylor Raddysh did just that with a record performance for Team Canada at the World Junior (under-20) championships during a game against Latvia.

Raddysh will wake up Friday morning with his name splashed across the top fold of just about ever sports front page across the Great White North as he put his name in to the Canadian World Junior record books.

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Hits just keep on coming to battered Lightning forward group

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 29, 2016


TAMPA, Fla. - Sometimes you have to bang your head against the wall to keep from going off the wall.

But with the case of the Lightning, if that happened, it would send somebody to injured reserve and keep them out of the lineup for a significant amount. That's how hard Tampa Bay has been hit by the injury bug this season.

And the hits just keep on coming.

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Filppula benched for violation of team rule

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 28, 2016


TAMPA, Fla. - Lightning head coach Jon Cooper wrestled with a difficult decision heading in to one of the most important games of the season for Tampa Bay.

One of the team's veteran leaders violated a team rule ahead of the morning skate prior to facing the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.{mprestriction ids="1,2"} As a result, Cooper had to stick to the rule and suspend Valtteri Filppula for one game.

Considering Tampa Bay had just 12 healthy forwards before the game, Cooper said it was one of the more difficult things he's had to impose.

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Lightning sign 2016 first-round draft pick

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 28, 2016


TAMPA, Fla. The Lightning pipeline has been among the deepest in hockey for the past several years.

Since general manager Steve Yzerman took over the team and brought in Al Murray to serve as director of scouting, the influx of young talent has elevated Tampa Bay from one of the bottom teams in the league to one of the elite. The homegrown talent, including the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Brayden Point, is a big reason for that sustained success.

On Wednesday, the Lightning locked in another of those top rated prospects expected to help the team in the future.

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Another Lightning prospect set to make NHL debut

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 28, 2016


TAMPA, Fla. While the Lightning will return to the ice tonight expecting to ice a healthier version of the team than it had before the three-day break for Christmas, they are not 100-percent healthy.

Though Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin, Braydon Coburn and Vladislav Namestnikov are all expected back tonight, Cedric Paquette will miss tonight's game against Montreal (Fox Sports Sun, 970-WFLA, 7:30 p.m.) with a lower body injury. Paquette briefly appeared at practice on Tuesday but left after about 10 minutes and did not return.

That left Tampa Bay with just 12 healthy forwards at the end of practice, with one of those forwards being converted defenseman Nikita Nesterov. So the Lightning once again dipped in to the farm system at Syracuse to give another on the team's prospects a chance to make their NHL debut.

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World Juniors, Day 2; Lightning prospects shine for Canada

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 27, 2016


The preliminary round at the World Junior championships moved in to the second day of competition on Tuesday.

The second day saw a quintet of Lightning players dress and play for Canada with three players having a major impact in a convincing victory against Slovakia.

There was also a major upset in Pool A that has the defending champions on the ropes halfway through their preliminary games.

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Boxing Day means World Juniors underway, TBL well represented

 

by Erik Erlendsson | @Erik_Erlendsson | Like us on Facebook
December 26, 2016


The Boxing Day tradition of the start of the World Junior Championships continued on Monday, with four games kicking off the 2017 tournament.

Tampa Bay Lightning fans will want to pay close attention to Team Canada at this tournament. Of the 10 teams participating in the Under-20 tournament, taking place in Toronto and Montreal this season, Tampa Bay has five players representing the Red and White, by far the most players they've ever had representing one team, let alone on Canada, perennial one of the favorites each year

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