On December 10, , long-time color commentator Bobby "The Chief" Taylor announced he would be retiring from the broadcast booth at the end of the —15 season. An injury to Puppa in that game, however, would see the Lightning lose the next three games and the series. Vincent Lecavalier suffered a dislocated shoulder as the result of an open-ice hit from Matt Cooke of the Washington Capitals in the game before the season finale in Atlanta.
Tortorella stripped Lecavalier of the captaincy due to contract negotiations that had made the young center miss the start of the season. This move would make Lecavalier an unrestricted free agent beginning July 5, free to sign with any team except the Lightning. Phil Esposito is the color commentator for home games. He also cleared most of the debt from the Kokusai Green era.
Taylor may also see sometime between the benches during broadcasts the following season. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announced after the game that the captain would miss one-to-three months due to a blood clot in his arm. He then gave Demers complete control of hockey operations as both coach and general manager. Louis with the Lightning during the —10 season.
Even though the Ice Palace was built for hockey and the Lightning were the only major tenant, Forbes called the team's deal with the arena a lemon since it would not result in much revenue for 30 years. Former first round pick Nikita Alexeev was traded on deadline day to the Chicago Blackhawks. Steve Yzerman would then announce on June 29 the team re-signed Stamkos to an eight-year, cap-friendly deal. However, the Lightning did not get off to a great start as hoped, and Melrose was eventually fired by the Lightning with a 5—7—4 record.
The first half of —07 was inconsistent for the Lightning, maintaining an 18—19—2 record throughout the first few months. In the first round of the playoffs, the Lightning ousted the Alexei Yashin -led New York Islanders in five games, with solid play from goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who posted three shutouts in Games 1, 3 and 4. The Lightning drafted Vincent Lecavalier in , a player who would be a cornerstone of the team for years to come.
Because if he had been healthy all year, based on everything I know, he would not have been available with the 6th pick. Nikita Kucherov emerged as the Lightning's leading point-scorer during the —16 season.
Posted by: JoJozahn | on October 2, 2012
The Lightning went through the season with only man-games lost to injury. Louis finished second in the NHL in points.
The Lightning were the worst team on the road in the NHL, winning only 11 games. They finished with a record of 36—25—16 for 93 points, breaking the point barrier for the first time in team history.
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However, it was not enough, as the Lightning would fall 2—1 against the Penguins, who went on to defeat the San Jose Sharks and win the Stanley Cup. The Lightning drafted Vincent Lecavalier in , a player who would be a cornerstone of the team for years to come.