Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update: Lots for the Lightning

Given all of the movements made by the Tampa Bay Lightning's new ownership last season, with the team drafting Steven Stamkos first overall and signing such free agents as Olaf Kolzig, Ryan Malone, Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts, the 2008-09 edition of the Tampa Bay Lightning provided the target-rich hockey-hounding environment.

Forget Vinny Lecavalier's abysmal season, a foggy Mike Smith, the revolving door on defense and, unfortunately, executive office in-fighting. The team, despite its foibles, still carried quality NHL players. Why that talent couldn't jell, that's not my job. That's a question better left to Lightning brass.

Still, hounding the Lightning provided a backbeat to the 2008-09 campaign. Trips were made in bunches, during training camp and clustered throughout the season. All in all, three Lightning-specific themes rounded out the collection: a team jersey, adding 32; a team helmet, a somewhat disappointing effort with only six signatures; and, of course, a bunch of pucks.

Going into last season, I figured to add 75 pucks from the Lightning alone. Didn't make it. Not even close:

Len Barrie (co-owner): Lightning and Kamloops Blazers

Brandon Bochenski: Lightning

Matt Carle: Lightning and San Jose Sharks (no longer with team)

Steve Downie: Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers

Steve Eminger: Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals new

Adam Hall: Lightning, Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins

Riku Helenius: Lightning

Andrew Hutchinson: Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes (no longer with team

Olaf Kolzig: Lightning, Lightning Prague Premiere game-dated, Washington Capitals new logo, Washington Capitals eagle, Washington Capitals original logo, 2000 NHL All Star Game, Washington Capitals 25th anniversary, 1998 NHL All Star Game, Rochester Americans, Portland Pirates and Tri-City Americans

(Editor's note: A special tip of Hound Central 4.0's battered Cooper SK600 to Olie the Goalie. For what it's worth, he's a class act.)

Oren Koules (co-owner): Lightning and Saw DVD cover

Lukas Krajicek: Lightning and Vancouver Canucks

Tom Kurvers (co-assistant GM): Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils (Never saw him)

Brian Lawton (director of hockey operations): Lightning and Minnesota North Stars

Vincent Lecavalier: Lightning three-stripe, Lightning Prague Premiere game-dated, 2009 NHL All Star Game, 2008 NHL All Star Game and Notre Dame Hounds (at left)

Claude Loiselle (co-assistant GM): Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Quebec Nordiques

Ryan Malone: Lightning

Barry Melrose: Lightning, NHL 2Nite, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Winnipeg Jets (No longer with team)

Andrej Meszaros: Lightning

Vinny Prospal: Philadelphia Flyers

Kari Ramo: Tampa Bay Lightning-Norfolk Admirals (at left), Norfolk Admirals and Springfield Falcons

Mark Recchi: Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens and Kamloops Blazers

Gary Roberts: Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins

Matt Smaby: Lightning, Tampa Bay Lightning-Norfolk Admirals first year affiliation, Norfolk Admirals and Springfield Falcons

Mike Smith: Lightning, Lightning Prague Premiere game-dated, Dallas Stars and Utah Grizzlies

Martin St. Louis: 2009 NHL All Star Game

Steven Stamkos: Lightning, Lightning three-stripe, 2009 NHL All Star Game, Lightning Prague Premiere game-dated, NHL practice puck, Team Canada and Sarnia Sting

Rick Tocchet (interim head coach): Lightning, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes and Phoenix Coyotes geodesic design

Mike Vernon (special assistant to Brian Lawton): Lightning, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks and Portland Winter Hawks (never saw him)

Radim Vrbata: Lightning, Phoenix Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes (no longer with team)

Wes Walz (assistant coach): Lightning, Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild inaugural season (at left)

Ty Wishart: Lightning, San Jose Sharks and Prince George Cougars (never saw him; hope to real soon)

I had no pucks for Jussi Jokinen (no longer with team), Jeff Halpern, Mike Lundin, Shane O'Brien (no longer with team) and Paul Ranger.

2008-09 Lots for the Lightning totals
Autographed pucks: 64
Autographed jersey: 32
Autographed helmet: 6
Autographed sticks: 2
Bottom line: 104 (or 10.3 percent of Hound Central 4.0's noncard autographs collected during the 2008-09 NHL hounding campaign)

Editor's note: This list originally appeared on Hound Central 3.0.

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