The Tampa Bay Lightning today announced the list of the top 20 moments in franchise history that will be honored as the Lightning Legacy, presented by DEX Imaging, during the 2012-13 season. The list was compiled from fan votes at www.20YearsofThunder.com during the offseason.
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The list spans the franchise’s entire 20 seasons, starting from the founding of the team through last season’s unforgettable 60-goal performance by Steven Stamkos. In between are 18 other moments that have defined the Lightning’s history and will forever be etched into the minds of Bolts fans. Included are some of the biggest wins in team history, including the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship, Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final, Game 7 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Final and Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal to name a few. The great moments include the opening of the organization’s homes over the years, such as the ThunderDome and the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Among other moments, will be the acquisition of key players over the years, like the drafting of Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier, as well as the signing of an undrafted free agent named Martin St. Louis in 2000. The complete list can be found below.
Over the summer, fans had the ability to cast their votes for their favorite moments spanning the team’s entire history. They were able to choose from nearly 50 of the best from the Bolts’ 20 seasons. Those moments that were voted in will be featured on the new, $5 million LightningVision center-hung video display board and in arena during the 2012-13 season.
Fans can still visit www.20YearsofThunder.com to see the entire list that will be honored during the upcoming season and share their own favorite personnel and moments on their Facebook wall. They can also submit their own video memories by answering the question “What does 20 Years of Thunder Mean to You”. The top submissions will be featured on the site and on LightningVision during select home games.
Best of the Bolts – The Moments (chronological order)
•December 6, 1990 - The NHL awards one of two expansion franchises to Tampa Bay and founder Phil Esposito.
•September 9, 1992 - Goaltender Manon Rheaume becomes the first female to play in one of the four major professional sports leagues.
•October 7, 1992 - The Bolts play the first game in franchise history, a 7-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks, at Expo Hall.
•October 9, 1993 - Tampa Bay sets the NHL single-game attendance record when 27,227 fans pack the ThunderDome in St. Petersburg.
•April 18, 1996 - Tampa Bay wins its first playoff game, 2-1, in overtime versus the Philadelphia Flyers.
•October 20, 1996 - The Lightning’s new home, the Ice Palace, opens in downtown Tampa with a 5-3 win against the NY Rangers.
•June 27, 1998 - Tampa Bay drafts Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, NY.
•October 9, 1998 - Just 18 months after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, forward John Cullen makes a triumphant return to hockey.
•July 31, 2000 - Lightning sign free agent Martin St. Louis.
•November 15, 2002, November 23, 2002 - Dave Andreychuk scores his NHL-record 250th career PPG and his 600th career goal, respectively.
•May 22, 2004 - The Lightning defeat the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final to play for the Stanley Cup.
•June 5, 2004 - Martin St. Louis scores in double-overtime at the Saddledome in Calgary to send the best-of-seven series back to Tampa Bay for a decisive final game.
•June 7, 2004 - Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final. The Bolts get two goals from Ruslan Fedotenko and defeat the Calgary Flames, 2-1, to skate away with the Stanley Cup.
•June 9, 2004 - October 5, 2005 The Lightning parade through the streets of Tampa; Raise the Stanley Cup banner to the rafters.
•March 30, 2007 - Vincent Lecavalier becomes the first player in Lightning history to score 50 goals when he beats Cam Ward at Carolina. He went on to win the league scoring title.
•June 20, 2008 - The Lightning draft center Steven Stamkos from the Sarnia Sting with the first overall pick of the NHL Entry Draft.
•March 3, 2010, February 4, 2011 - Jeff Vinik purchases the Lightning, lease-holding rights to the arena and adjacent land, forming Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment; Vinik and his team announce the team will undergo a transformation including logo and jersey systems, community programs, building renovations and more.
•May 25, 2010 - Fresh off putting together the Canadian Olympic team that won the Gold Medal, the Lightning hire Hockey Hall-of-Famer Steve Yzerman to serve as VP and general manager.
•April 27, 2011 - The Bolts defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-0, in Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.
•April 7, 2012 - Stamkos scores his 60th goal of the season, becoming the first Lightning player to do so, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.