Tampa Bay Lightning are a professional ice hockey team based in Tampa, Florida. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They have one Stanley Cup championship in their history, in 2004. The team is commonly referred to as the Bolts, and the nickname is used on their current third jersey. They play their home games at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.
Tampa Bay Lightning News
The Lightning opened the season in the Czech Republic against the New York Rangers as a part of the NHL’s regular season “Premiere” that selects several teams to open the NHL regular season in Europe.
Barry Melrose would record his first win as a head coach in over 13 years on October 21, 2008 with a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. However, the Lightning did not get off to a great start as hoped, and Melrose was fired by the Lightning with a 5-7-4 record. Rick Tocchet, who had been hired as assistant coach during the previous offseason, was promoted to interim head coach.
On March 4 NHL veterans Mark Recchi and Olaf Kolzig were traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs respectively. The Lightning acquired top round picks Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums from the Bruins.
After the firing of Melrose, the Lightning went 19-33-14, and would finish the season 24-40-18 with 66 points, their lowest point total since the 2000-01 season. With the 2nd overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Lightning selected Victor Hedman.
During the offseason, the Lightning removed the interim status of Rick Tocchet, and decided to make him the full-time coach with a multi-year contract.