The Tampa Bay Lightning hold a particular ceremony for captain Martin St. Louis to commemorate his 1,000th NHL game.
Martin St. Louis 1,000th game ceremony by NHL
There was a time, not all that prolonged in the past, that the extremely notion of NHL hockey in the state of Florida would’ve drawn appears of incredulity and raised eyebrows amongst fans of the game. Skating? Hockey? Indoors? In Florida? Never! Such an idea would’ve been summarily dismissed, laughed off as nothing more than the daydreams of an overactive imagination. People in Florida will not want to view a sport generally associated with sub-zero temperatures and snow. They would rather commit the day at the seashore swimming and tanning or at very least, viewing football or baseball outdoors. Correct?
Fast forward to the current and NHL hockey is alive, effectively and booming in the state of Florida. The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning have established themselves in the NHL and have in flip helped set up professional hockey in the southern states. Both teams are presently enjoying an upswing in acceptance as followers proceed to support the established fan preferred gamers on either staff (Tampa: Martin St.Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Florida: Bryan McCabe, Steven Weiss) as well as the newer additions (Tampa: Steven Stamkos, Florida: David Booth) who’ve assisted to re-energize the two teams and their fans.
The Florida Panthers have been part of an expansion to the NHL in the early 90’s. H. Wayne Huizenga, then owner of the Blockbuster Video franchise, was awarded an NHL franchise in December of 1992. The Panthers, along with California’s Anaheim Mighty Ducks, had been then element of an growth draft and officially ushered into the NHL. Filling their roster with some notable names from all around the league, the Panthers went on to get pleasure from 1 of the most successful season of any expansion staff in NHL historical past, narrowly missing the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Eventually, in the 1996 playoffs and only their third season in the league, the Florida Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Finals. They were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche in an intense, difficult fought series but they had succeeded in cementing the acceptance of NHL hockey in Florida.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were brought about by the competition in between two parties – two former NHL all-stars, the Esposito brothers Frank and Tony, and their competitors, the owners of a now defunct NHL staff, the Hartford Whalers. The Esposito brothers ended up efficiently outmaneuvering their rivals and the Tampa Bay Lightning had been launched to the league on October 7, 1992. During their early days, the club was partly owned by New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The team created headlines during the exhibition season when goalie Manon Rheaume became the 1st girl to play in an NHL game, creating the 1st of two NHL appearances versus the St. Louis Blues. The Tampa Bay Lightning would not qualify for the playoffs for the initial time right up until the 1995-1996 season, dropping to the Philadelphia Flyers in 6 video games in the opening round. Years of fiscal and administration difficulties would adhere to, ultimately lifting in the 2003-2004 season when they innovative to the Stanley Cup finals and won, defeating the Calgary Flames in a tight 7 game series.
Presently, each teams are enjoying a surge in reputation due to improved perform and an ever widening fan base. The Lightning drafted Steven Stamkos in the summer time of 2008 and he has quickly asserted himself as one of the premiere offensive talents in the league, scoring 51 ambitions in just his second season as a professional. The resultant media focus has had a positive effect on each the Lightning and the Panthers by earning both teams much more followers. Without a doubt, the sport of hockey and the NHL’s presence in Florida are right here to stay.