Last week fans on Tampabaylightning.com filled the inbox with questions for Ryan Malone. This week you get your answers. While there isn't time to answer all the questions, here are the best of the best. Stay tuned next week for goaltender Mike Smith!
Name: Maria Hometown: Largo, FL Question: Do you like living in Tampa, and who are your best friends on the team, any funny stories??
Maria: Of course I like living in Tampa. There’s not a lot of stress; no traffic and it’s easy to reach the rink in the morning from where I live. And, obviously, it’s gorgeous here. I’ve gotten to know lots of new teammates but the one guy I hit it off with right off the bat was Mike Smith. He lives right across the street from me in Tampa and we get along great.
Name: Ciara Hometown: Tampa, FL Question: Do you still keep in touch with your old teammates from the Penguins?
Ciara: Yes, I do keep in touch with them. I wish them luck in the Cup Finals and hope they can come out on the other end this time.
Name: Jackie Barry Hometown: Safety Harbor, FL Question: How does playing hockey in a warm climate such as Tampa differ from playing hockey in a cold place like Pittsburgh? Do you have to prepare for games differently or exercise differently in a warm climate as opposed to a cold one? Is the fact that we have golf and other outside activities here in Tampa during the season a distraction from playing? Thanks!
Jackie: I do prepare for a game differently here. After my pre-game nap I just jump in my pool and stretch to warm up a little bit. It’s a lot more refreshing than just taking a shower, which is what I did in Pittsburgh. I don’t think having outside activities is a distraction. When I do get a day off it’s good to go whack the golf ball around just to get your mind off everything, which is nice – but most guys also just spend time with their families which is obviously good, too.
Name: Tom Hometown: Venice, FL Question: Any regrets about not staying in Pittsburgh now that they are headed for the Cup Finals?
Tom: Obviously, staying in Pittsburgh just wasn’t meant to be for me, but no regrets. I’m enjoying my new home in Tampa and we’re going to try and build a team that will be battling here next year.
Name: Vickie Hometown: Tampa, FL Question: I'm curious because we don't know much about you, so if you weren't playing hockey and beating guys up what would you be doing? By the way you are an awesome presence on the ice and I followed you with the Pens last year. GO Bolts and GO Pens beat those Red Wings!
Vickie: I used to joke around with my dad about not having a back-up plan if I didn’t make it playing hockey. I used to tell him I’d go to Vegas and be a professional card dealer. I hear they make pretty good money.
Name: Patrick (Pat) Cline Hometown: Bradenton, FL Question: You've had a chance to play with some excellent hockey players in Pittsburgh. How would you rate the Lightning organization compared to the Penguins organization-players and management staff alike?
Pat: When Ray Shero came into Pittsburgh he did the same thing Brian Lawton is doing here – kind of clean the house and bring in people he believes in. It takes some time. Everyone’s still learning and in the off-season I believe we’ll land a piece or two that will help us this year.
Name: Tanner Bailey Hometown: Clearwater, FL Question: Ryan, when you were still in your Penguins uniform, how did the Penguins coaches prepare you guys when you played against the Bolts? What was your opinion of the Lightning organization?
Tanner: We always focused on Vinny (Lecavalier) and Marty (St. Louis) and were aware how dangerous those guys were when we were short-handed. We tried to be aware when those two guys were on the ice and tried to play smart against them. We wanted to get the puck in deep and get shots on the net.
Name: Emily Allen Hometown: Tampa, FL Question: What is your all-time favorite restaurant or clothing store?
Emily: In Tampa, that would be Roy’s, the Hawaiian-fusion place over by the International Mall. For clothing, International Mall is great. I guess I’d have to pick Nordstrom’s Department Store.
Name: Danielle Hometown: Burlington, ON, Canada Question: What was the biggest challenge you faced when moving from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Tampa Bay Lightning?
Danielle: Getting to know the guys and the town was challenging, but what was really weird was looking around and seeing the Lightning logo everywhere; in the middle of the floor in the locker room, on the ice, even on my shorts! I was used to Pittsburgh stuff so that was weird at first.
Name: Megan Hometown: Largo, FL Question: Do you have a routine that you do before every home game?
Megan: A bunch of the players play soccer before games. First we have a meeting to go over what we’ll do during the game and then some guys break out and me, Marty St. Louis, Smitty, Stamkos and Karri Ramo play some soccer in the hallway. I’m not particularly superstitious, but if I notice that I put my left skate on first and scored that period, I’ll put my left skate on first again for the next period.
Name:Sergio Hometown: Lehigh Acres, FL Question: First let me say I am a big fan, even when you were with the Pens. When I heard you were coming to the Lightning I thought it was great. I really enjoy watching you play. You are tough on the ice, wherever help is needed you are there and it seems you just play and enjoy doing it. Are you glad you made the move to Tampa? Is your hope to be in Tampa for a while? I hope so
Sergio: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I’m very, very glad to be in Tampa and hopefully I’ll be there a long while. We will have a successful team but it takes some time. Anything can happen but it’s our job next year to be prepared when we come into camp and work hard to make sure we’re a better hockey team.