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Tampa Bay Lightning Franchise Highly Ranked By ESPN The Magazine

According to ESPN The Magazine, the Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the best professional sports franchises, the seventh best, to be exact. In their latest issue, ESPN rated over 120 professional sports franchises in the NHL, NFL and MLB and compiled their tenth annual “Ultimate Standings" issue.

The Bolts were named the seventh best franchise in sports and the second best in the NHL, behind the sixth ranked Phoenix Coyotes. The Lightning were the top ranked franchise in Tampa Bay. This gives the Bolts two straight years of top ten finishes in the ESPN ranking.

ESPN The Magazine’s Ultimate Standings looks to determine a ranking of all professional spo...

Tampa Bay Lightning Signs Prospect Nikita Kucherov

The Tampa Bay Lightning has signed forward Nikita Kucherov to a three year entry level contract.

The right winger was drafted in the 2012 CHL Import Draft by the Quebec Remparts. He is recovering from shoulder surgery and has yet to play a game with Quebec. The Lightning drafted the Russian in the second round (58th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Kucherov had one goal and five points in 18 games with CSKA Moscow of the KHL last season. He led the 2011 U-18 World Championships in scoring, netting 11 goals and 21 points in just seven games.

Bolt Prospects speaks highly of Kucherev:

“One of the purest finishers in the 2011 draft class. Had an unbelievable...

Tampa Bay Lightning News and Notes: CBA Tough Talk, Paul Ranger Found, Mathieu Garon's Health and More

Here are some Hockey Bay tidbits to hold you over until training camp opens…hopefully.

An NHL work stoppage is nearing reality as the September 15 deadline is fast approaching. A group of Lightning players continue to work towards the scheduled September 21 training camp opening, assembling most mornings at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, Florida for informal practice. Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone, Adam Hall, Eric Brewer, Marc-Andre Bergeron, BJ Crombeen, Sami Salo, Mathieu Garon, Dmitri Korobov and free agent Brett Clark are regulars at the morning skates.

These union members are upset that the basis of the league's proposal cuts the players' share of hockey-...

Andrei Vasilevski Selected at No. 19 By Tampa Bay Lightning

With the No. 19 overall selection, the Tampa Bay Lightning have selected Andrei Vasilevski.


The Russian netminder stands tall in net, making his 6’3”, 204-pound frame look like a mountain.

Vasilevski, 17, posted a 2.23 GAA in 27 games with Tolpar Ufa of the MHL last season.

Vasilevski has it all: skill, sense and poise. He uses his size to intimidate and then uses his skill to put himself in the best situation possible to make the save. Size is one thing, but when a goalie has it on top of good positioning he can develop into a top netminder in the NHL.

He possesses agility, side-to-side mobility, quickness and strength in his legs, wh...

Tampa Bay Lightning Select Slater Koekkoek to Bolster D with 10th pick


With the 10th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected defenseman Slater Koekkoek.

Koekkoek (18 years old) is your typical stay at home, shut down defenseman that is going to give your team's opponents headaches on every given night.

After appearing in 26 games with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, he scored five goals and 13 assists for 18 points.

Coming out of Mountain, Ontario, Koekkoek is a difficult opponent to skate around at 6'2 and 184 pounds.

By the time he is ready for the NHL, he will likely be a bigger and stronger defender that could resemble a brick wall. However, he is not the...

Predators Trade Goaltender Anders Lindback To Tampa Bay In Multi-Piece Deal

On Friday afternoon, the Nashville Predators traded goaltender Anders Lindback, forward Kyle Wilson and a 2012 seventh-round draft selection (No. 202 overall) to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for two second-round draft selections in the 2012 draft (No. 37 and No. 50 overall), a third round selection in 2013 draft and goaltender Sebastien Caron.

Moving Lindback was a foregone conclusion for the Predators, who have the services of one of the NHL's premier goaltender's in Pekka Rinne. When the club signed Rinne to a seven-year, $49 million contract last season, Lindback became a movable asset; one which has been in demand.

For the Lightning, Lindback is considered t...

Simon Gagne Finally Gets His Cup

At around 8 p.m. Pacific standard time on June 11th, Simon Gagne had finally earned the right to hoist the Stanley Cup over his head.

Despite a series of unfortunate events that had spanned several seasons and a near tumble when he tried to pick up the Cup for the first time, Gagne had finally reached the peak of the hockey summit where he rightfully belonged.

Ovie'd: Caps catch Lightning late, win in OT 3-2

With just under 4 minutes left in the third period the Washington Capitals found themselves amid a three-game losing streak,  down 2-1 and staring another crucial loss in the face. 

Then a persistent forecheck paid off tenfold. 

A great shift by the Caps in the offensive zone resulted in a chance for Marcus Johansson on the doorstep, with the game on his stick. 

Head up all the way, Johansson calmly slipped a wrist shot through the five-hole of Lightning rookie goalie Dustin Tokarski to even the score at 2-2. 

Then in overtime it was the captain's turn. Alex Ovechkin took a pass from Dmitry Orlov and found the back of the net ...

Stamkos sinks Caps in OT 4-3

Too often the term "playoff-like game" gets thrown around in the NHL, but Tuesday night in Tampa Bay was not one of those oversights. 

The Capitals and Lightning battled with a playoff-like feel in regular season game No. 49 for both Southeast Division clubs. 

The game saw the Caps battle back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game early in the third period before going into overtime. 

After Matt Hendricks opened the scoring for the Caps with a highlight-reel spin-o-rama goal, Tampa Bay responded with three unanswered goals from Teddy Purcell, Martin St. Louis and Nate Thompson to put the Bolts up 3-1. 

But Washington hung around and battl...

Two in a Row - really!

There was a ceremonial face off in the Bell Centre featuring Yvan Cournoyer, Paul Henderson and Vladislav Tretiak. Very nice ovation for the two hall of famers and one that possibly should be in the hallowed halls. The scratches for this game were Yannick Weber and Peteri Nokelainen.

The The much anticipated follow up game to the Eller game started off slowly for the Habs. The Lightning scored the dreaded first goal by Vincent Lecavalier with assists by Eric Brewer and Dominic Moore. The Habs did not have any shots until approximately the six minute mark. After scoring the first goal, the Lightning went into their defensive shell.

The second period started with a lot of energy...