Lightning defender Victor Hedman returned to Tampa Bay Tuesday evening and was back on skates Wednesday morning for the team’s informal workout session on the newly-formed ice at Amalie Arena.
Hedman spent three days in New York City as the Lightning’s player representative at the National Hockey League’s annual media day.
“It was an honor to represent Tampa Bay,” said Hedman, who had a breakout season for the Lightning in 2013-14, scoring 13 goals and recording 42 assists and 55 points. “To go to a place like that and be surrounded by so many good players, it was a lot of fun.”
After spending most of Sunday traveling, Hedman, 23, got started Monday at the Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils, where he was interviewed by numerous television stations for about six hours.
Monday night, Hedman attended a player reception in Manhattan, and, on Tuesday, the Swedish-born defender went to the league office to meet with various digital and print media before heading back to Tampa in the afternoon.
Hedman said answering some of the same questions could be tedious, but, overall, the experience was enjoyable.
“We got to do some commercial shoots, some interviews, photo shoots, stuff like that,” he said. “It’s good for the media so they can gather in one place and don’t have to travel around so much. I had a lot of fun. A lot of good guys were there.”
Hedman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft, was recently voted the tenth-best defender in the league by NHL.com. With the 6-foot-6 Hedman highlighting a defense that added fellow Swede Anton Stralman from the New York Rangers and Jason Garrison from the Vancouver Canucks in the offseason, the Lightning have the ingredients for an improved backline.
“I think if you look at the additions we have, it’s going to be a battle for ice time,” Hedman said. “I think that’s a good thing for a team to have…You have to try to earn that ice time.”