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Greatest moment in lightning history  

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  1. 1. what is the greatest moment in tampa hockey history?

    • Manon Rheaume first female under NHL contract
    • Whoppo brings hockey to Florida
    • Guy Boucher and Rollie lead deep playoff run 2011
    • Tortorella draws inside straight wins cup with Lightning!
    • St. Louis comes over from Calgary for nothing
    • St. Louis oldest man to win scoring title

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What is the greatest moment in Tampa Bay lightning history? Here are my choices....


The Lightning began play in 1992-93, and no player on any expansion team ever has drawn as much interest as Rheaume. The Lightning signed her to a tryout, admittedly as much as anything in an attempt to get their fledgling team noticed by the press and did it work. She worked out with the team and over the next two years played in exhibition games against other teams and went on to play parts of 7 years in the lower minor leagues becoming the first professional woman to play professionally.



Yes, others have dreamed for decades about expanding into Florida and getting the retirees from the northern cities to spend their money to see past favorites in a warm weather climate, but it took Phil Esposito, one of the greatest players in the history of the game, part showman, (see Rheaume) part huckster, part con man and a man willing to use his reputation within the game to get his bid accepted of Compuware and bring hockey to Florida.


The Lightning had fallen on hard times since they had won the Stanley Cup in 2004, with two straight early knockouts and three straight missed postseasons including the unfortunate Barry Melrose tenure, a new voice with new ideas, Guy Boucher took over a team coming off consecutive 71-66 and 80 point seasons and turned it around with a unique version of the trap, frustrating other clubs, when Roloson came on board at the deadline the team was set, they defeated Pittsburgh in 7 games then swept the Capitals before falling to the Bruins in a tough 7 game series falling one game short of the cup. Kid Steven Stamkos finally got some national attention as he led the way with 45 goals but it was aging vet Rollie who carried the day. And speaking of Boucher, why hasn't he gotten any consideration for another NHL job?http://thumbs3.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mM8k64G6G5Ul2c2XBFM9R2A.jpg


Speaking of hucksters and con men, John Tortorella with his slicked back hair and looking like a Vegas dealer, played every card right in 03-04 as the team won the first and only cup in franchise history. Martin St. Louis (38-56-94) won the Hart, Khabibulin was outstanding in net, Brad Richards and Lacavalier were brilliant and spear carriers such as Tim Taylor and Ruslan Fedotenko were wonderful as well. Dave Andreychuk won his only cup, guys like Stillman and Modin had career years. Everything went right. It was almost as if the Lightning made a deal with the Devil.


2012-13, the strike shortened season brought some strange stat lines, one of the strangest was St. Louis at 37 leading the league in scoring with 60 points in 48 games. The likely future Hall of Famer is like the energizer bunny, he just keeps going, and going and going.......http://thumbs1.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/meM2OYd4BBzQaogTKhXGJug.jpg


St. Louis went to the University of Vermont and was considered too small to translate his game to the NHL. He tried out for (and was released) by Ottawa, the Blues game him a shot in the minors but didn't think anything of him. Calgary gave him a shot, and when he hustled his way onto the roster for parts of two seasons, it was considered a nice story, the diminutive guy had realized his dream. After two years the Flames let him go, the Lightnng signed him, and a Hart Trophy, 3 Lady Bings, a scoring title and a likely Hall of Fame career later proves that big things sometimes come in small packages.

I gave thought to Stamkos as the first pick in his draft year, to Vinnie leading the league in goals scored in 2005-06 and a few others but this is my list. Thoughts?

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 Manon was a close 2nd   :)

In his bio Espo comes across as a rather crude man who has done all and more that he should have been able to have accomplished with his abilities. A rather crass man with locker room humor who does not put on airs but simply talks in his book the same as he would in front of the boys. A fun book to read if a bit off color.

Espo talks about when Rheaume pulled a hammy. The trainer didn't know what to do. The whole team was gathered around outside the trainers office trying to get a naked look at Rheaume. Espo told the trainer to give her a massage but if he saw an errection he was fired. Then he told the trainer that in the interest of equal rights the same applied for the guys as well, no erections after massaging them either. Like I said, rude and crass but it strikes one as real.

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Ooooo....a "Greatest Moments" thread i can REALLY sink my teeth into!


First off, i will say, yes, winning the Stanley Cup is THE single biggest moment in the franchise history...hands down.

But as @yave1964 said, wouldn't be a poll without some options...and the ones presented are really good too...all quite memorable.


However, as a fan who has followed the team even through the times when the awfulness of the team drove away interest, I can post some other moments that stick out in my  mind, and perhaps were only memorable to those living in the area or who have followed the team real closely over the years such as myself.


Don't have time right now (have a new outlet mall that just opened up and I simply MUST be there...lol), however, those posts are forthcoming for this thread. ;)


But yea, Stanley Cup IS the goal as was mentioned, and until the Bolts win another, it remains as the greatest moment in the club's history!

First Cup is special...but I can imagine a Cup win that can surpass it is one where the Bolts do it in TRULY dominating fashion, ala some of the great teams of the past such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, and dare I, maybe even harken back to some of the older Islander and Oiler days??


Would be something to see the Lightning put together a juggernaut team for about 2 or 3 seasons running....and thus create a NEW greatest SC moment!

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My vote is for the Cup win. The first woman NHLer was more of a "goof" than anything, at least the way I remember it...such an obvious publicity stunt...and of course the PC media was all over it.


anyway - good poll Yave - you're a good writer.

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ok, ok...here we go....some very good choices for great moments in TB Lightning history provided (though the Cup is still hands down the best one), but here are a couple more that rank, in my mind, and in the minds of those who have followed the ups and very deep downs of this team for years.



---Dave Andreychuk is made captain of the Lightning over Vinnie Lecavalier (despite some public griping about that), and he proceeds to be a key ingredient in turning the franchise from a 'collect a paycheck, bask in the sun, play hockey only when asked' type organization to a 'bust your hump every shift or get out' type franchise.


People need to understand:

Before Andreychuk's arrival and his subsequent promotion to team captain, the Bolts made some very questionable signings up in down the roster on guys who had an NHL 'name', and little else.

It soon got around the league that if you were known enough, USED to be good, and/or needed a paycheck while still playing hockey part time, you could sign with the desperate Bolts, make some money, and  hang out on the beaches early in April because the team would have just gotten done playing out the string and once again find themselves out of  the playoffs.


Dave Andreychuk, a hard luck player at the time, steps in, demands full performance out of his teammates, puts an accountability system in place, and while he he had no control over who the FO signed, he DID have control over how comfortable 'floaters' felt in that locker room.

No way a young VLC grabs the attention of the many grizzled vets and young wannabee hotshots that were assembled on that team, and no way does he weed out the undesirables like Andreychuk did, simply because big Dave had the experience, the presence, and true desire to turn the franchise around and have it stop being the joke of the league.


A great moment indeed when Dave was brought on board as it set the tone for future rosters on this team, where finally, the ownership, fans, and players on the team realized, "Hey, we don't HAVE to be the place that collects players no one else wants".


-----Steve Stamkos, 1st overall pick in 2008


Even through all the lean years when everything from 'relocate the team' to 'florida can't sustain hockey' and everything in between, it was the interest in Steven Stamkos that at LEAST kept people watching to see what the Bolts were doing. And the Bolts were smart in handling Stamkos, making good contract deals with him well in advance in order to keep the young rising star within their ranks untile the team could better field a contender AND afford to pay him when his time came due.


Despite having guys like VLC, MSL, Brad Richards, Dan Boyle go through their ranks, this franchise may still today, be very far behind the contention curve after the 2004 Cup win had it not been for the Bolts drafting #91, and Stammer going on to prove year in year out, that he was well worth the 1st overall pick and will be well worth whatever he earns in a Bolts uniform.

Big, big moment in time for the Lightning when they brought on Mr. Stamkos, as he most definitely kept the team relevant when they were seemingly irrelevant in every other respect. And not only has he shown an ability for great play, but he also has become the type of player who makes OTHERS around him better, and they type of player who attracts others to sign up to play with the team....something EVERY franchise hopes to have on their roster.


------And one more from me, and this one holds a special place for me and for many others who became real hockey fans despite being from a warm weather, retirement, beach state like Florida......the strike shortened season where the Tampa Bay Lightning made the playoffs and faced off against the Philadelphia Flyers, ultimately losing to Philly in six games.


Still though, that was the real birth of "Lightning Fever" as it was termed at the time, it caught the attention of many new, casual, and even some hardcore hockey fans from elsewhere who lived in the state, that a scrappy, barely NHL quality team filled with cast offs from other teams, could make noise during the regular season, make the playoffs, and give the mighty LOD led Flyers a bit of a scare in the first round (at one point the Bolts were up 2-1 in that series), when NO one gave them even a chance to be competitive in that series, let along win a game or two.


The 'cast offs' from other teams that were included during that year and the one or two that followed were guys like Paul Ysabaert, Shawn Burr, John Cullen, Darren Puppa, Michel Petit, Igor Ulanov, just to name a few. Guys who couldn't quite hack it on regular contenders or were past their primes...yet still had enough heart to play competitive games every night and reach the first post season in franchise history in 1995, and face down Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Michael Renberg's Flyers.


That improbable playoff team made fans out of many people in the TB area, including myself, and while I can't speak to what other fans did after that, I am sure many continued to be Lightning and NHL fans in general, but it certainly made me a life long fan not only of the Bolts, but of this awesome northern sport of hockey.


Great, great moment indeed, when those scrappy Lightning players made the post season, created 'Lightning Fever'....and I am proud to admit, that I am still stricken by the Fever, and hope to never be cured!  :D

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  I also voted for the Stanley Cup victory, an easy choice. Not taking anything away from the Bolts, but if the Flyers did not lose 4 of their top 6 d-men for that series, it's a different result. No GM can plan for that type of chaos, totally impossible to anticipate that .

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It has to be winning the Cup. Personally, I don't understand why that hasn't proven to be enough to put Andreychuk into the HHOF.

Andreychuk gets a horrible rep because he couldn't skate and all, but it seems to me that the all time leader in power play goals in all of hockey belongs in the Hall of Fame.

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Andreychuk gets a horrible rep because he couldn't skate and all, but it seems to me that the all time leader in power play goals in all of hockey belongs in the Hall of Fame.


Not to mention being 14th in career goals and his longevity (6th most game played). Oh yeah, and Dino Ciccarelli's in the Hall. If he gets in, how can Andreychuk not?

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A bit off-topic: Brian Boyle is the widest p***y among the big-bodied NHL players. If you can't fight even being bigger, then stay the f**k out of it. 


I refer to his pathetic scrap with Scandella. Wuss.

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