Saturday, June 1, 2013

Team report: Tampa Bay Lightning

Over the course of the past NHL season, I figured we'd have plenty of time to devote a single hounding session to the Tampa Bay Lightning. As the season wore on, though, those opportunities -- from the abbreviated training camp to the two dozen home games -- slipped away.

That's why, as the shortened campaign was down to its final day here in Hockey Bay, we put in the time to pay homage to the hometown hockey players. And, even then, we hounded the Lightning only after finishing our second hounding adventure of the season for the Florida Panthers.

Honestly, that wasn't a slight to the Bolts. It was just how things worked out. Sure, we snagged a handful from Lightning players and coaches during the season. These, though, were random, catching them at signing sessions around the Tampa Bay area or near the rink on game days.

So, in our sole session devoted to the Lightning, we capped our hockey-hounding campaign by adding 20 autographs. Not the greatest, mind you, as far as numbers are concerned, but we're pretty pleased with the quality, though Steven Stamkos didn't stop to sign that late April day.

Who did stop? Well, Vinny Lecavalier for starters, who signed the pair of pucks shown above. Marty St. Louis, shown below at right with Teddy Purcell, also stopped to sign pucks for us.

Beyond former NHL star Steve Thomas and a couple of Bolts knocking out a long-awaited pair of double-signed cards, others signing pucks and cards were:

Chris Dingman, on the old-school Lightning puck, and Benoit Pouliot;

Purcell also signed a four-pack of cards; and 

Victor Hedman, Tom Pyatt and St. Louis signed cards.

Next up: Our top six autogaphs of the 2013 hockey-hounding campaign

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