Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No Vinny? So what!

To be honest, I was hoping to see Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier taking part in an informal practice this morning in Brandon with other Lightning alums, past and present. And though he wasn't on the ice, I certainly wasn't disappointed by the eight skaters who participated.

Taking part were Chris Gratton, Olaf Kolzig, Nolan Pratt (decked out in Sabres gear), Mark Recchi, Brad Richards (wearing his Stars duds), Mike Smith and Jason Ward. Only Gratton (drive-by), Pratt (no one asked) and Recchi (drive-by) didn't sign.

Defenseman Paul Ranger, coming off of shoulder surgery, was even there, watching the fun and games, so to speak, from above the rink. Of course, he stopped after practice (photo above) for the three collectors waiting in the heat and humidity.

I must also admit that I was a bit perplexed by Ranger signing only one card. I suppose that sounds greedy, but he's usually signed multiples for me in the past. It's like I say, though, that one is better than none.

Another skater taking part was Brian Bradley, a member of the original Tampa Bay Lightning and its first All Star, who added this to The Vault.

Despite retiring in late 1999, Bradley looked right at home on the ice, even roofing one shot past Kolzig.

Finally, Ward, who looked quicker on his skates, was the first to sign the 2008-09 Tampa Bay Lightning team jersey.


Anonymous said...

Any guess if the guys will be out there this weekend at all?

Puckhound said...

I doubt it. It seems like it's just Monday through Friday, as I've heard that some players skated Tuesday and would be back on Thursday.

Another factor is that skating lessons, hockey leagues and public skates usually fill the weekend ice time.