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Ivy Ceballo/Tampa Bay Times/Times

Fans finally cheer champs in person at Lightning parade and party

Sports / Hockey /

TAMPA, Fla. - By land and by sea, the Lightning and thousands of adoring fans Wednesday celebrated the first professional sports title to come home to Tampa Bay since the last time the Lightning did it in 2004.

Tuesday had been the intimate reunion, as the team arrived home with the Stanley Cup to greet loved ones they had missed for months. ...Read more

Geoff Baker: Tod Leiweke laid groundwork for the Lightning's Stanley Cup. Now, he's doing the same for the Seattle Kraken.

Sports / Hockey /

SEATTLE - Tod Leiweke hoped the Tampa Bay Lightning would win the Stanley Cup after he left his Seahawks executive role in 2010 to become CEO and a minority owner of the hockey club.

Leiweke, now the Kraken's CEO, just never realized it would take a decade for the Lightning's Cup to materialize, five years and two jobs after he'd moved on. ...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

A Stanley Cup and Lightning team for the ages

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning's quest for the Stanley Cup seemed interminable and, at times, this season has felt endless. Perhaps it is fitting that 2020 will now live forever in Tampa Bay.

Yes, the wait is finally over. For a group of players who have been stalking the Cup since 2015, and for a community of fans accustomed to late-season heartbreak. The ...Read more

Steven Stamkos will not play as Lightning have chance to claim Stanley Cup

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning have an opportunity to win the Stanley Cup Saturday night, but they will do so without Steven Stamkos.

"We're not going to see him tonight," coach Jon Cooper said. "We have to get another win. Stammer knows that he was a big part in us getting this far, both off the ice and what contributed when he played. But as for tonight, he ...Read more

Lightning fans won't see Ben Bishop-Andrei Vasilevskiy matchup in Game 5

Sports / Hockey /

Lightning fans won't get the matchup some have wanted to see between goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and his former mentor, Ben Bishop, in the Stanley Cup Final.

Dallas coach Rick Bowness said Saturday afternoon that Anton Khudobin will start in net for the Stars, with Jake Oettinger as the backup for Game 5, a potential elimination game. The ...Read more

Patric Hornqvist 'blindsided' by trade to Panthers

Sports / Hockey /

PITTSBURGH - Speaking publicly for the first time since the Penguins traded him to the Florida Panthers, Patric Hornqvist said Friday that he was "blindsided" by the end of his time in the city where he won Stanley Cup rings and raised two children.

"This came up and blindsided me because I had a no-move clause. But then I find out that ...Read more

Star Tribune/Star Tribune/Carlos Gonzalez    carlos.gonzalez@startribune.com/Star Tribune/TNS

Former Wild captain Mikko Koivu hasn't decided whether to keep playing

Sports / Hockey /

Mikko Koivu won't be suiting up for the Wild next season, but he might not be done playing.

The longtime captain is mulling his next move, but will leave Minnesota and return to Finland next week to train in case he chooses to continue his career elsewhere. Wild general manager Bill Guerin announced last week the team won't be bringing back the...Read more

DIRK SHADD/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Steven Stamkos' return was fortuitous for Lightning's Stanley Cup chances

Sports / Hockey /

Whether Steven Stamkos plays again in the Stanley Cup final is beside the point.

His presence on the ice in Game 3 ended a 21-game stretch in the playoffs, including the round robin, that the Lightning played without their captain.

And that, in itself, was enough.

The 2 minutes, 47 seconds of ice time that Stamkos logged in the first period ...Read more

'Difficult decision': Penguins trade veteran Patric Hornqvist to Florida Panthers

Sports / Hockey /

The Penguins have traded Patric Hornqvist to the Florida Panthers after all.

A day after trade talks with the Panthers reportedly stalled due to an insurance issue, the Penguins on Thursday officially sent Hornqvist to Florida. In return for a two-time Stanley Cup winner who scored the deciding goal in the 2017 final, the Penguins received Mike...Read more

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Lightning's Nikita Kucherov not letting Stars take him off his game

Sports / Hockey /

The Stars did their scouting report on Nikita Kucherov. Their game plan, like the Islanders' before them, appears to be to stick on him, try to get under his skin.

Kucherov took a big hit from Jamie Benn, a high stick from Mattias Janmark, then crashed into the boards bearing the brunt of Jamie Oleksiak's 225-pound frame. That was only in the ...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lightning send message early in Game 2 of Stanley Cup final

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning sent a message with how they started Game 2, both to the Stars and themselves: They are a better team than they showed in Game 1.

Tampa Bay scored three goals in the first period, then went on to a 3-2 win to even up the Stanley Cup final at a game apiece at Edmonton's Rogers Place on Monday night.

Center Brayden Point got things...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commissioner Gary Bettman says 2020-21 NHL season might not start until January

Sports / Hockey /

The 2020-21 NHL season could start in late December or "slip into January" depending on the health conditions and COVID-19 regulations in place later this year, Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Saturday before the start of the Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning in Edmonton, Canada.

Speaking during the state ...Read more

Elsa/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lightning are older, and hope better, team than 2015 version

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning have been here before. No, they haven't played the Stanley Cup Final in an Edmonton bubble against the Stars, but nine of their players have played for hockey's biggest trophy together before.

In 2015, the Lightning were something of a young upstart that made an unexpected run to the Cup final, losing to the Blackhawks. None of ...Read more

Star Tribune/Star Tribune/Carlos Gonzalez    carlos.gonzalez@startribune.com/Star Tribune/TNS

Franchise staple Mikko Koivu won't be returning to Wild next season

Sports / Hockey /

The Wild won't look the same next season, and not just because of recent roster turnover.

Longtime captain Mikko Koivu will not be back after the team announced Friday it won't re-sign him. Koivu, 37, had been with the organization ever since it drafted him sixth overall in 2001, and through 15 ensuing seasons he assembled the most illustrious ...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Helene Elliott: No booing Gary Bettman? Stanley Cup Final will be another strange experience.

Sports / Hockey /

LOS ANGELES - Anthony Cirelli's overtime goal had just sent the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup Final and it felt like old times.

Lights flashed, the goal horn blared, and the winners dashed off the bench to hug each other and celebrate defeating the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference finals. Fans roared - but that's where ...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Lightning beat Islanders to earn spot in Stanley Cup final

Sports / Hockey /

Another potentially clinching game, and once again, the Lightning and Islanders needed overtime. This time, however, the Lightning came out on top, finishing the Eastern Conference final and securing their spot to compete for the Stanley Cup with a 2-1 win.

Anthony Cirelli, who was injured earlier in the game Thursday night in Edmonton, was the...Read more

Sharks will make Bob Boughner their full-time coach, per report

Sports / Hockey /

The Sharks will make Bob Boughner their full-time head coach in the near future, according to a published report.

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic wrote Wednesday that Boughner would have the interim tag removed from his title in "the next week or two."

A Sharks spokesman said Wednesday morning that nothing is official. For months, though, all ...Read more

Geoff Baker: Will the Kraken's on-ice debut be delayed? Chances are good.

Sports / Hockey /

SEATTLE - It's the thing nobody's really talking about during these Stanley Cup playoffs but that will certainly become a huge discussion next month.

We've all long assumed the Kraken will launch in October 2021 because October has been the NHL's opening month the past eight decades. But it's looking more likely the league could delay starting ...Read more

Islanders beat Lightning in second overtime to keep season alive

Sports / Hockey /

The Lightning missed their first chance to secure a spot in the Stanley Cup final.

Game 5 had been lucky for Tampa Bay and Tuesday's lined up to repeat the previous two series that went into overtime. The Islanders had the touch this time, however, pulling out a double-overtime 2-1 win over the Lightning at Edmonton's Rogers Place.

Tampa Bay ...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

Three goals in 27 seconds make difference for Lightning and Islanders

Sports / Hockey /

After the Islanders scored the first goal of Game 4 on Sunday afternoon, Lightning coach Jon Cooper told his same line of three forwards to go back out there and get one goal. They did just that, 15 seconds later.

It was part of a stretch of three combined goals in 27 seconds, the fourth-quickest in NHL playoff history. The Lightning's two ...Read more