Who says the off-season in the NHL is boring? The Tampa Bay Lightning are poised to make a strike at becoming arguably the most exciting team in the NHL, and they’re sparing no expense. From the top all the way down, they are adding quality and hotness across the board. Follow me after the jump to learn see why.
New Owners - Oren Koules and Len Barrie want to be aggressive in order to compete and win, and they are showing it in the days leading up to the beginning of free agency.
New General Manager – The team has brought back Harry Jay Feaster as GM. He was in the same position in 2004 when the Bolts won the Stanley Cup. Although he has the goods to aid the team again, unfortunately he didn’t make the cut to earn a photo spot in this piece.
New Head Coach – Former ESPN analyst Barry Melrose is now the head coach. Despite an undistinguised playing career, he does have experience coaching in the Stanley Cup Finals. He brings a defensive-minded approach to Tampa Bay, as he did when he was a player. Don’t expect him to feel badly about large numbers for penalty minutes.
New Assistant Coach Wes Walz – Answering the burning question, where in the world is Wes Walz after retirement, now we know … he’s an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
No. 1 Draft Pick Steven Stamkos – For a pretty penny and the bragging rights to say he’s #1, the Tampa Bay Lightning now have cutie Steven Stamkos.
Brian Rolston – The Tampa Bay Lightning has acquired the rights to right wing Brian Rolston from the Minnesota Wild. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent today if not signed.
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed Vaclav Prospal and Janne Niskala from the Philadelphia Flyers and Gary Roberts and Ryan Malone from the Pittsburgh Penguins. So don’t be surprised if you start to see more hot beef sandwiches offered at the St. Pete Times Forum arena.
The team also retained Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, two of the top 15 point scorers from last year.
Look for the Tampa Bay Lightning to generate some sparks in the 2008-2009 season. They’re hot!