Let Tampabaylightning.com become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team throughout the 2007-08 season to provide you with a positive look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will post the latest following practices and morning skates, and he’ll make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news.
In a press conference following practice at the St. Pete Times Forum today, Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier made an unprecedented commitment to the local community when he pledged $3 million to build the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at All Children’s Hospital. The Center will occupy half of the seventh floor in the new All Children’s Hospital currently being built in St. Petersburg. It will include 28 patient rooms with accommodations for parents to stay overnight, and playrooms will include an area specifically geared toward adolescent-aged patients. Additionally, the entire Center is designed with a special filtered airflow system that allows young patients whose immune systems may be weak due to chemotherapy to move freely about the unit rather than being restricted to their rooms.
More than half of the $3 million price tag will be gifted by the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation and its partners, Kane’s Furniture and DEX Imaging, and the rest will be raised by the Foundation (don’t forget, year two of his celebrity poker night is November 12 at the Hard Rock). Some of the media in attendance at the announcement speculated it might be the largest single commitment ever by a pro athlete in the Tampa Bay area.
Special teams was the focus of the Lightning's workout today. After a 30-minute video session the players hit the ice divided into black and white jerseys - a sure-fire sign it's time to work on the power play and penalty kill. It can be confusing at times, with players that skate on both units having to switch jerseys with a teammate.
The team spent a solid hour working solely on special teams, and after John Tortorella said he had originally planned to give the team off Tuesday because he doesn’t like to practice three consecutive days once the season starts. However, after the performance in Sunrise Saturday night, he changed his mind.
Andreas Karlsson practiced with the team but his status is still unknown for Thursday. Ryan Craig is still skating on his own but not ready for contact, while Dan Boyle is getting more and more involved in the practices on a daily basis.
The Lightning skate at 11 tomorrow morning before heading to Boston for Thursday night’s game, which is the home opener for the Bruins.