Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Lightning

Best of the Bay and the Bolts for 2017

I may have touched on this Best of the Bay thingie while talking about music (sweet music…music everywhere) but the topic of note is the one that my name is usually linked to: The Tampa Bay Lightning. Creative Loafing’s 2017 reader poll doesn’t lack nor neglect notable aspects of the Bolts – directly or indirectly – which sets the table for Lightning fans to show support for cogs they know regarding the club.

Mind you, there may be more nominated aspects and assets with ties to the franchise (Amalie Arena, or perhaps a locale within the arena). What’s being cited here is from the section called People, Places, Politics which features categories pertaining to public figures, locations and sports. Continue reading

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Filed under Raw Charge, Sports, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

Social Media Reach and the Tampa Bay Lightning

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Filed under hockey, Raw Charge, The Life

Isolation and the Tampa Bay Rays quest for a new stadium [UPDATED]

Insecure, narcissist and self indulgent. These words are commonly thrown toward current United States President Donald J. Trump (as they should be). Yet what’s inspiring these words at the moment is reflecting on a city; one town in a grander regional area that wants to be on top. It’s a town that wants prominence in the region through a national spotlight, even if that spotlight is dimmed by way of the city itself.

St. Petersburg, Florida’s population is almost 250,000, 16,000 more than Reno, Nevada (“America’s Biggest Little City”). It’s part of the grander Tampa Bay metroplex. Its quest to one-up Tampa (the larger city in the Bay area) was part of why the town constructed the venue known now as Tropicana Field. Never mind the fact there was no slated pro sports team to play within the building when construction was approved in the mid-1980s; St. Petersburg had to force the location if and when (if ever) Major League Baseball expanded or relocated to Tampa Bay.

Being a Tampa Bay resident for so long, having seen and experienced life with the Dome and St. Pete in general, I cringe and shake my head now. Topping another city to lock in control of a potential jewel only shows a lack of self awareness. St. Pete has one, basic fault that keeps it understated in a the wider region; a very simple fault that’s on display at Tampa Bay Rays games and which is why a new stadium is a hot point with the club and why relocation outside of the region is a possibility….

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Filed under baseball, Tampa Bay

And down the stretch they come….! Thoughts on the Tampa Bay Lightning as the NHL season wanes

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Filed under hockey, Raw Charge

On Tampa Bay sports disappointment and media coverage

A disappointing season in sports – both professional and amateur — is just that, a disappointment, a downer. Things don’t go as planned and the results are lesser than you (as a fan) wish. It’s something that you can’t hold against a high school or college team while the pro sports competitive disappointments can be outright atrocities of a competitive kind, run asunder by a multitude of choices by management as well of incidents of both a competitive variety and by bad luck.

The 2016-17 Tampa Bay Lightning season is a disappointment of a competitive nature where bad luck (injuries) and a horrible schedule played part in the Bolts not roaring into a competitive, playoff-bound position that has become a constant the last three seasons. There was a noted attitude problem in the Lightning locker room, and once that was brought into check the team turned up its competitive vibe and is where it is now: Just outside the playoff bubble with a scant chance of making it and a growing chance of missing the playoffs.

It’s a disappointment, yeah. Yet the strength of the team hasn’t collapsed, things haven’t been put asunder with bad coaching or low quality management moves. For the casual fan that’s locked in on disappointment in the trades of Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle and Valtteri Filppula: They weren’t going to stick around long term by way o the salary cap and costs to do so. Bishop and Boyle will be unrestricted free agents come July 1st, Filppula was due to become one in the summer of 2018. With the club already working with a very tight salary cap, retaining them over retaining forthcoming restricted free agents Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin and / or Center Tyler Johnson just couldn’t be done.

Disappointing to lose fan favorite players, especially Bishop who was such a steady hand in the crease. But when looking at the broad picture, at the “Yzerplan” that accentuates player development, it’s understandable as something that had to be done.

To cut that short: shit happens. Ho hum. Next season is going to be something worth checking out, just as this season was, and the season before…

In comparison to professional sports in the history of the greater Tampa Bay Metropolitan area which has existed 40+ years, this season of Lightning hockey ranks a hell of a lot higher on the disappointment list than oh-so-many others coming from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Rays and Lightning. All that history, all the back-story of each club doesn’t gain web-clicks or sell newspapers at the immediate moment though.

See, Tampa Bay Times (and former Tampa Tribune) sports columnist Martin Fennelly made a bold decree that this Tampa Bay Lightning’s season is the biggest disappointment in the history of Tampa Bay sports. He does quick-quick takes of other top-tier disappointing seasons for local clubs, but highlights the current state of the Lightning as “desperation hockey” and the reason why this season is the top disappointment – ever.

That’s where I’ve been revitalized as a sports blogger, because something so limited in view, perspective and opinion got the green light from the only newspaper in the region. Something so inane, random and weak didn’t just get published – it’s going to get someone his paycheck because he put words down and it fit a column length requirement. Continue reading

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by | March 22, 2017 · 8:17 AM

The Tall Order: Saying Farewell to Ben BIshop

I posted over on Raw Charge last night in the wake of goalie Ben BIshop’s trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Los Angeles Kings. Click over to read.

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Filed under hockey

Read my full column/blog post HERE.

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by | February 4, 2017 · 2:43 PM

The South should celebrate its hockey heritage at Tropicana Field

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Filed under hockey, Raw Charge

Seeking blog contributors for Raw Charge

Raw Charge is looking for writers to add to the staff of their SB Nation blog covering the Tampa Bay Lightning.  How would I know? I run the damn place, that is how I would know.

I bring this up on my personal blog site that gets next-to-no web traffic (but a gargantuan number of bot driven spam comments) because it’s a chance to talk about the aspiration to add staff.  Well, it’s not just adding staff, per se. It’s about trying to find writing teammates to work with. This is a quest to find guys and girls who love the sport, and the team but also want to be part of something bigger.

Things have changed in the past calendar year (or a bit longer) on Raw Charge with people leaving the site, self-driven writers who didn’t want to fit a format (be it site use or grammar), and college influence / professional aspirations stopping others from writing in a casual format.

While the site has taken on some very capable writers the past few months, there is still missing elements and consistency in contributions.

I’m looking for a Tampa Bay based element for new contributors. I don’t mean relocated-for-college-but-originally-from-TB people… I mean folks who are here.

You can access the official post about looking-for-writers at this link.

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Filed under Raw Charge, Sports

Come what may; thoughts and rambling on the eve of the 2016 NHL playoffs

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Filed under hockey, Raw Charge

A playoff-berth bar to be met or raised in Tampa Bay sports

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Filed under football, hockey, Sports, Tampa Bay

Re-enGauged

My writing habits have been stuck on Lightning hockey for something like 7 years now. Sometimes I vent on Reddit.com or in private conversations. Other times I’ve articulated in fiction writing that’s sitting in a “Saved” folder on my PC.

I dunno,perhaps it is time to un-mothball this thing and use it to express myself instead of hiding it? Then again, reviewing some of my riting here I call people out by name. That’s not good.  At the same time, knowing this site hasn’t been public for years (and not easily accessible even to me) the site has not been indexed in search engines or shared through social mediums in a long, long time. Looking over web traffic data proves it.

This article draft was put together months ago, but it’s publication is only being done now.  Hmmm, maybe i should actually post some worthwhile content instead of venting writing-wise?

One thing I have to do that absolutely has to be done is clear up the blogroll. Some of those sites are spam sites now, others are just dead-in-the-water.  Sorta like Stonegauge, which is only getting reads (from me) for the first time in forever.

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Filed under The Life, The Stonegauge

The anniversary of the start of Tampa Bay Lightning hockey

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Filed under hockey, Raw Charge

Jeff Vinik’s Channel District plans aren’t with the Tampa Bay Rays in mind

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Filed under baseball, Raw Charge, Tampa Bay, The Life