2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning season

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2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning
Division 5th Southeast
Conference 13th Eastern
2008–09 record 24-40-18
Home record 12-18-11
Road record 12-22-7
Goals for 210
Goals against 279
Team information
General Manager Brian Lawton
Coach Barry Melrose (Oct/Nov)
Rick Tocchet (Nov-Apr) interim
Captain Vincent Lecavalier
Alternate captains Andrej Meszaros (Oct/Nov)
Jeff Halpern (Nov-Apr)
Martin St. Louis
Arena St. Pete Times Forum
Average attendance 16,054 (82.3% total)
Team leaders
Goals Martin St. Louis (30)
Assists Martin St. Louis (50)
Points Martin St. Louis (80)
Penalties in minutes Evgeny Artyukhin (151)
Plus/minus Richard Petiot (+5)
Wins Mike Smith (14)
Goals against average Mike Smith (2.62)
<2007–08 2009–10>

The 2008–09 Tampa Bay Lightning season was the 17th season for the franchise in Tampa Bay. After a season of turnover in ownership, management and players, the team had a turbulent regular season. The Lightning failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Offseason[edit]

On June 3, it was announced that head coach John Tortorella would not return to the team despite having another year left on his contract.[1]

The NHL board of governors on Wednesday, June 18, approved the sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning was made to movie and television producer Oren Koules. The deal depended the closing of the financial deal of $200 million US to buy the team and lease the St. Pete Times Forum. Koules, 47, played in Medicine Hat and Calgary in the Western Hockey League in the early 1980s. In more recent years, he achieved success with the Saw movie franchise and the television sitcom Two and a Half Men. Among his business partners in the Lightning deal is former NHL player Len Barrie.[2]

On June 24, the Lightning announced that Barry Melrose was hired as the team's new head coach. Melrose had not coached in the NHL since 1995, with the Los Angeles Kings. Since that time, he had served as an analyst for the ESPN networks.[3]

Goaltender Marc Denis's contract was bought out by the Lightning on June 25, almost 2 years to the date after his acquisition from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Denis had one year remaining on his contract.[4]

The Lightning acquired the rights to left wings Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2009.[5] Malone then agreed to a 7-year contract with the Lightning two days before he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.[citation needed]

The Lightning acquired the rights to right wing Brian Rolston from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2009 or 2010. Rolston would later sign with the New Jersey Devils.

The whirlwind thirty-two days of questionable moves by new ownership came to a head on July 4 when, despite coming off a recent contract extension, Dan Boyle was traded along with Brad Lukowich to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Matt Carle (who would be traded in early November), Ty Wishart, a first round draft pick in 2009 (which was traded in August) and a fourth round draft pick in 2010. Boyle was pressured to waive his no-trade clause by Tampa Bay's ownership, who said they would otherwise place him on waivers where he would likely be claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers. Frustrated at interference in the team's hockey operations by owners Barrie and Koules, seven days later GM Jay Feaster resigned, despite having 3 years remaining on his contract.[6] Indeed, Brian Lawton had already taken over the position, though not officially until October 2. Tortorella would later go on to label the new owners as "cowboys" for these and other dubious moves,[7] a moniker that would stick with them.

On August 29, the Lightning acquired defenceman Andrej Meszaros from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for defencemen Filip Kuba, as well as Alexandre Picard, and a first-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (obtained in the Boyle deal with the San Jose Sharks). The Lightning would go on to sign Meszaros to a 6-year contract worth $24-million.

On September 18, the Lightning announced that their new team captain would be Vincent Lecavalier.

Pre-season[edit]

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be playing five preseason games before opening the season against the New York Rangers on October 4 in Prague. Of special note, this is the first time that Tampa Bay will be opening the season outside of North America. This will also be the first time that the Lightning will play a preseason game outside North America, playing Eisbaren Berlin in Germany on September 28. It was announced later that the Lightning would also play against HC Slovan Bratislava of the Slovak Extraliga on September 30.

Date Opponent Location Time Result
Saturday, September 20 Pittsburgh Mellon Arena 7:30pm 5-4 W (SO)
Monday, September 22 Pittsburgh St. Pete Times Forum 7:30pm 3-2 L
Tuesday, September 23 NY Rangers St. Pete Times Forum 7:30 pm 3-2 W
Thursday, September 25 NY Rangers Madison Square Garden 7:00 pm 4-2 W
Sunday, September 28 Eisbaren Berlin Berlin, Germany 10:00 pm 4-1 W
Tuesday, September 30 HC Slovan Bratislava Bratislava, Slovakia 12:00 pm 3-2 W (SO)
  • Note: all times EST and bold games are Home Games.

Regular season[edit]

The Lightning struggled on the penalty kill, finishing the regular season with the most power-play opportunities against (405) and the most power-play goals allowed (89).[8]

Divisional standings[edit]

Southeast Division
GP W L OTL GF GA Pts
1 y – Washington Capitals 82 50 24 8 272 245 108
2 Carolina Hurricanes 82 45 30 7 239 226 97
3 Florida Panthers 82 41 30 11 234 231 93
4 Atlanta Thrashers 82 35 41 6 257 280 76
5 Tampa Bay Lightning 82 24 40 18 210 279 66

Conference standings[edit]

Eastern Conference
R Div GP W L OTL GF GA Pts
1 z – Boston Bruins NE 82 53 19 10 274 196 116
2 y – Washington Capitals SE 82 50 24 8 272 245 108
3 y – New Jersey Devils AT 82 51 27 4 244 209 106
4 Pittsburgh Penguins AT 82 45 28 9 264 239 99
5 Philadelphia Flyers AT 82 44 27 11 264 238 99
6 Carolina Hurricanes SE 82 45 30 7 239 226 97
7 New York Rangers AT 82 43 30 9 210 218 95
8 Montreal Canadiens NE 82 41 30 11 249 247 93
8.5
9 Florida Panthers SE 82 41 30 11 234 231 93
10 Buffalo Sabres NE 82 41 32 9 250 234 91
11 Ottawa Senators NE 82 36 35 11 217 237 83
12 Toronto Maple Leafs NE 82 34 35 13 250 293 81
13 Atlanta Thrashers SE 82 35 41 6 257 280 76
14 Tampa Bay Lightning SE 82 24 40 18 210 279 66
15 New York Islanders AT 82 26 47 9 201 279 61

bold – qualified for playoffs, y – division winner, z – placed first in conference (and division)

AT – Atlantic Division, NE – Northeast Division, SE – Southeast Division


Game log[edit]

2008–09 Game Log
Schedule

Record vs. Opponents[edit]

Team Points Record
New Jersey* 106 0–1–3
NY Islanders 61 1–2–1
NY Rangers 95 0–3–1
Philadelphia 99 1–2–1
Pittsburgh 99 1–2–1
Boston* 116 1–3–0
Buffalo 91 2–2–0
Montreal 93 2–0–2
Ottawa 83 1–2–1
Toronto 81 3–0–1
Atlanta 76 2–3–1
Florida 93 3–2–1
Carolina 97 0–4–2
Washington* 108 0–6–0
Chicago 104 0–0–1
Columbus 92 1–0–0
Detroit* 112 0–1–0
Nashville 88 0–1–0
St. Louis 92 0–0–1
Calgary 98 1–0–0
Colorado 69 0–1–1
Edmonton 85 0–1–0
Minnesota 89 0–1–1
Vancouver* 100 0–1–0
Anaheim 91 1–0–0
Dallas 83 1–0–0
Los Angeles 79 1–0–0
Phoenix 79 1–0–0
San Jose* 117 0–2–0

Notes: * denotes division winner; teams in bold are in the Southeast Division; teams in italics qualified for the playoffs; points refer to the points achieved by the team whom the Thrashers played against

     = Member of the Atlantic Division
     = Member of the Northeast Division
     = Member of the Southeast Division
     = Member of the Central Division
     = Member of the Northeast Division
     = Member of the Pacific Division

Playoffs[edit]

The Tampa Bay Lightning failed to qualify for the 2009 NHL playoffs.

Player stats[edit]

Skaters[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games played in; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes; +/- = Plus/minus; PPG = Power-play goals; SHG = Short-handed goals; GWG = Game-winning goals 

Goaltenders[edit]

Note:  Min, TOI = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T,T/OT = Ties; OTL = Overtime losses; GA = Goals-against; GAA = Goals-against average; SO = Shutouts; SA = Shots against; SV = Shots saved; SV% = Save percentage;

Regular season
Player GP Min W L OT GA GAA SA SV Sv% SO
Smith, MikeMike Smith 41 2471 14 18 9 108 2.62 1282 1174 .916 2
Ramo, KarriKarri Ramo 24 1311 4 10 7 80 3.66 756 676 .894 0
McKenna, MikeMike McKenna 15 775 4 8 1 46 3.56 406 360 .887 1
Kolzig, OlafOlaf Kolzig 8 410 2 4 1 25 3.66 245 220 .898 0
Helenius, RikuRiku Helenius 1 6 0 0 0 0 0.00 2 2 1.000 0

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining Lightning. Stats reflect season totals.
Traded mid-season
Bold/italics denotes franchise record

Awards and records[edit]

Records[edit]

Milestones[edit]

Regular Season
Player Milestone Reached
Steven Stamkos 1st NHL Game October 4, 2008
Steven Stamkos 1st NHL Assist
1st NHL Point
October 28, 2008
Steven Stamkos 1st NHL Goal October 30, 2008
Steven Stamkos 1st NHL Hat Trick February 17, 2009

Transactions[edit]

Trades[edit]

July 4, 2008 To Tampa Bay
Matt Carle
Ty Wishart
First-round pick in 2009
Fourth-round pick in 2010 draft
To San Jose
Dan Boyle
Brad Lukowich
August 29, 2008 To Tampa Bay
Andrej Meszaros
To Ottawa Senators
Filip Kuba
Alexandre Picard
First-round pick in 2009 draft (pick acquired in Matt Carle trade, later traded)
September 29, 2008 To Tampa Bay
Conditional 2009 draft pick (6th round, Jaroslav Janus)
To Nashville Predators
Nick Tarnasky
October 6, 2008 To Tampa Bay
Lukas Krajicek
Juraj Simek
To Vancouver Canucks
Shane O'Brien
Michel Ouellet
November 7, 2008 To Tampa Bay
Steve Eminger
Steve Downie
Fourth-round pick in 2009 draft(later traded)
To Philadelphia Flyers
Matt Carle
Third-round pick in 2009 draft(later traded)
November 25, 2008 To Tampa Bay
Future Considerations
To Phoenix Coyotes
Wyatt Smith
November 30, 2008 To Tampa Bay
Lauri Tukonen
To Dallas Stars
Andrew Hutchinson
February 7, 2009 To Tampa Bay
Wade Brookbank
Josef Melichar
Fourth-round pick in 2009 draft(later traded for Richard Petiot)
To Carolina Hurricanes
Jussi Jokinen
March 4, 2009 To Tampa Bay
Matt Lashoff
Martin Karsums
To Boston Bruins
Mark Recchi
Second-round pick in 2010 draft

Free Agents[edit]

Player Former team Contract Terms
Adam Hall Pittsburgh Penguins 3 years, $1.8 million
Olaf Kolzig Washington Capitals 1 year, $1.5 million
Radim Vrbata Phoenix Coyotes 3 years, $9 million
Mark Recchi[9] Atlanta Thrashers 1 year, $1.25 million
David Koci Chicago Blackhawks 1 year, $525,000
Brandon Bochenski Nashville Predators 2 years
Marek Malik New York Rangers 1 year, $1.25 million
Player New team
Marc Denis Montreal Canadiens
Junior Lessard Atlanta Thrashers
Craig MacDonald Columbus Blue Jackets
Doug Janik Chicago Blackhawks

Claimed from Waivers[edit]

Player Former team Date claimed off waivers
Matt Pettinger Vancouver Canucks October 21, 2008
Cory Murphy Florida Panthers January 19, 2009

Draft picks[edit]

Steven Stamkos was the first overall selection in 2008

Tampa Bay entered the NHL Draft Lottery with a 48.8-per-cent chance of winning the lottery after stumbling to a 31-42-9 record in the regular season. The Lightning finished last in the league just four years after winning their first Stanley Cup.[10]

Tampa Bay's picks at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft[11] in Ottawa, Ontario.

Round Pick Player Position Nationality Club Team
1 1 Steven Stamkos (C)  Canada Sarnia Sting (OHL)
4 117 (from San Jose) James Wright (C)  Canada Vancouver Giants (WHL)
5 122 Dustin Tokarski (G)  Canada Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
5 147 (from San Jose) Kyle De Coste (RW)  Canada Brampton Battalion (OHL)
6 152 Mark Barberio (D)  Canada Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
6 160 (from Florida via Chicago) Luke Witkowski (D)  United States Ohio Junior Blue Jackets (USHL)
7 182 Matias Sointu (RW)  Finland Ilves Tampere (Finland Jr.)
7 203 (from Anaheim) David Carle (D)  United States Shattuck-Saint Mary's (USHS-Minnesota)

Roster[edit]

Updated April 2, 2009.[12]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
76 Russia Artyukhin, EvgenyEvgeny Artyukhin RW L 31 2001 Moscow, U.S.S.R.
27 United States Bochenski, BrandonBrandon Bochenski RW R 32 2008 Blaine, Minnesota
34 Canada Craig, RyanRyan Craig C L 32 2002 Abbotsford, British Columbia
18 United States Hall, AdamAdam Hall RW R 34 2008 Kalamazoo, Michigan
11 United States Halpern, JeffJeff Halpern (A) C R 38 2008 Potomac, Maryland
44 Latvia Karsums, MartinsMartins Karsums RW R 28 2009 Riga, U.S.S.R.
33 Czech Republic Koci, DavidDavid Koci LW/D L 33 2008 Prague, Czechoslovakia
2 Czech Republic Krajicek, LukasLukas Krajicek D L 31 2008 Prostějov, Czechoslovakia
55 United States Lashoff, MattMatt Lashoff D L 28 2009 East Greenbush, New York
4 Canada Lecavalier, VincentVincent Lecavalier (CInjured Reserve C L 34 1998 Ile-Bizard, Quebec
22 Czech Republic Malik, MarekMarek Malik D L 39 2008 Ostrava, Czechoslovakia
12 United States Malone, RyanRyan Malone LW L 35 2008 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
30 United States McKenna, MikeMike McKenna G L 31 2008 St. Louis, Missouri
6 Czech Republic Melichar, JosefJosef Melichar D L 35 2009 České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia
14 Slovakia Meszaros, AndrejAndrej Meszaros Injured Reserve D L 29 2008 Považská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia
21 Canada Murphy, CoryCory Murphy D L 36 2009 Kanata, Ontario
50 Canada Petiot, RichardRichard Petiot D L 32 2009 Daysland, Alberta
24 Canada Pettinger, MattMatt Pettinger LW L 34 2008 Edmonton, Alberta
20 Czech Republic Prospal, VaclavVaclav Prospal LW L 39 2008 České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia
31 Finland Ramo, KarriKarri Ramo G L 28 2004 Asikkala, Finland
54 Canada Ranger, PaulPaul Ranger Injured Reserve D L 30 2002 Whitby, Ontario
32 United States Smaby, MattMatt Smaby D L 30 2003 Minneapolis, Minnesota
41 Canada Smith, MikeMike Smith Injured Reserve G L 32 2008 Kingston, Ontario
52 Czech Republic Smolenak, RadekRadek Smolenak LW L 28 2005 Prague, Czechoslovakia
26 Canada St. Louis, MartinMartin St. Louis (A) RW L 39 2000 Laval, Quebec
91 Canada Stamkos, StevenSteven Stamkos C R 24 2008 Markham, Ontario
38 Canada Szczechura, PaulPaul Szczechura C R 29 2008 Brantford, Ontario
7 United States Welch, NoahNoah Welch D L 32 2009 Brighton, Massachusetts

See also[edit]

Farm teams[edit]

References[edit]