Tampa Bay Lightning

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Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning

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Lightning Corner

The Tampa Bay Lightning are a professional hockey team in the National Hockey League (the NHL). The Tampa Bay Lightning play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference with four other teams: the Carolina Panthers, the Washington Capitals, the Florida Panthers, and the Atlanta Thrashers.  Lightning tickets will be a hot item during the 2014-2015 NHL hockey schedule.

Tampa Bay Lightning 2014-2015 Outlook

The Lightning were one of last season’s best breakout stories, and they did it with a young team that has lots of room to improve. They featured a pair of Calder finalists in Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson, and Jonathan Drouin may be the favorite to win it this year.6 Meanwhile, former second overall pick Victor Hedman is only 23 and has quietly evolved into one of the league’s best young defensemen.

This will be the Lightning’s first full season without Martin St. Louis in more than a decade, and while Ryan Callahan gets lots of love for his intangibles, he won’t replace St. Louis’s offense. On the other hand, they’ll also presumably get a full year out of Steven Stamkos, who missed half of last season with a broken leg.

Add it all up, and the Lightning have plenty of people excited, with some preseason predictions even listing them as the favorite to come out of the East. They’re this year’s trendy team, and it’s not hard to see why. But before I jump on the bandwagon, there’s that one nagging doubt …


The Tampa Bay Lightning franchise was originally founded in 1992.  The franchise was originally owned by two Hall of Fame hockey player brothers – Phil and Tony Esposito – who were awarded an NHL expansion franchise for the 1992-1993 NHL season over a St. Petersburg-based investment group fronted by the current owners of the Hartford Whalers – Carolina Hurricanes franchise Jim Rutherford and Peter Karmanos.  William Davidson, the owner of the Detroit Pistons, currently owns the team but is in negotiations to sell the franchise to OK Hockey LLC, an investment group headed by Hollywood movie producer Oren Koules. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning have not retired any players’ numbers.  Wayne Gretzky’s #99 was retired league-wide by the NHL on February 6, 2000.  Denis Savard played for the Tampa Bay Lightning from 1993-1995 and he was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame as a player in 2000.

Tampa Bay Lightning TV/Radio

All Tampa Bay Lightning hockey games can be seen on the Sun Sports television network and on WTOG-TV locally in the greater St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay area.  ESPN also has television rights to Tampa Bay Lightning games based on the popularity of the game. Tune into WDAE 620 on your AM dial to catch each Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game on the radio.

Amalie Arena

The Tampa Bay Lightning play their home games in the Amalie Arena.  Amalie Arena is an arena in Tampa, Florida, that has been used for ice hockey, basketball, and arena football games, as well as concerts. It is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League and the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League.

The building was originally known as the Ice Palace. In 2002, the building’s naming rights were sold to the St. Petersburg Times which became the Tampa Bay Times in 2012; accordingly, the stadium was known as the St. Petersburg Times Forum (or St. Pete Times Forum) from 2002-2012 and Tampa Bay Times Forum (2012-2014). In September 2014, the stadium was renamed Amalie Arena when the naming rights were transferred to Amalie Oil.

The building played host to the 1999 NHL All-Star Game, World Wrestling Federation Survivor Series 2000, and games of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament in 2003, 2008 and 2011. The Arena played host to four of the seven games during the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals, as the Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames four games to three to win their first Stanley Cup. The Arena also hosted ArenaBowl XII (1998) and ArenaBowl XVII (2003) and the 2007 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Arena hosted the 2008 NCAA Women’s Division I Final Four Basketball Tournament on April 6–8. Tennessee beat Stanford, 64–48. In 2009, the Arena hosted the Southeastern Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The arena was slated to host an NBA preseason game in 2010 between the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat, the league’s two Florida teams. However, months before the game, the arena’s basketball floor was treated with an oil-based cleaning solution that resulted in a slippery film forming on it. According to Magic players, the floor was so slippery that they had to walk through their shootaround. When it became apparent that there was no way to make the court playable, the game was canceled half an hour before the scheduled tipoff. All fans received a full refund.

In 2012, the Amalie Arena played host to the NCAA Hockey Frozen Four championship finals; this was the first time the "Frozen Four" was held outside the northern US since 1999, when the University of Alaska Anchorage hosted the event at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, now the Honda Center, in Anaheim, California. The Frozen Four was hosted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the nearest collegiate hockey team to Florida. Boston College won the National Championship game 4–1 against Ferris State. After the success of the tournament, the NCAA selected the Arena to host the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament for the second time in four years.

Amalie Arena
401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, Florida 33602

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