The Tampa Bay Lightning joined the NHL before the 1992-93 season. They have a storied history, including three Stanley Cup championships. Many talented players have donned the Bolts’ sweater and made a significant impact; five such talents have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. There will be more down the road, especially when the current stars hang up their skates. But until then, here are the names enshrined in Toronto as Hockey Hall of Fame members.
Martin St. Louis
A few players come to mind as faces of the Lightning franchise. There is Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Victor Hedman, among others. However, arguably the biggest name is winger, Martin St. Louis. He was a small undrafted player who went on to become a superstar that fans all over the world will never forget.
St. Louis started his NHL career as a Calgary Flame and made his NHL debut during the 1998-99 season. After only a couple of campaigns in Calgary, the Flames bought out his contract. In parts of two seasons, he produced the following regular-season numbers:
- 1998-99: 1 goal and 1 assist for 2 points in 13 games
- 1999-00: 3 goals and 15 assists for 18 points in 56 games
St. Louis signed with the Lightning as a free agent before the 2000-01 season and the rest is history. He donned the sweater for parts of 13 campaigns. His career-high in points was during the 2006-07 season when he notched 102 in 82 games (43 goals and 59 helpers). He also racked up 99 points in 2010-11 and 94 points on two occasions (2003-04 and 2009-10). He went to the All-Star Game six times and won the Art Ross Trophy twice, the Lester B. Pearson Award, Hart Memorial Trophy, and multiple Lady Byng Memorial Trophies.
Most importantly, he was a key contributor when the Lightning won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. On that 2004 run to the Cup, St. Louis scored nine goals and 24 points in 24 games, the only teammate to score more playoff points was forward Brad Richards with 26.
He was traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Ryan Callahan – who was captain of the Blueshirts – in March 2014. St. Louis went to the second Cup Final of his career with the Rangers, but they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five contests. His final campaign in the league was in 2014-15 when he put up 52 points (21 goals and 31 assists) in 74 regular-season games. The Rangers made another deep playoff run but fell short to the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. St. Louis suited up for 19 playoff games that season and collected one goal and six assists.
St. Louis retired in the summer of 2015. His number 26 was retired by the Lightning in 2017, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2018. He remains one of the most important members of the Lightning in the Hall of Fame. Stamkos and Hedman will eventually join him, but before they dominated the league, St. Louis was becoming a dangerous threat.
The first Lightning player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Famer was center, Denis Savard. Before joining Tampa Bay, he played 13 seasons with two Original Six clubs, the Chicago Blackhawks and Montreal Canadiens. Savard joined the Bolts as a free agent before the 1993-94 season. He only played in parts of two campaigns but was one of their top point producers.
Savard posted 18 goals and 46 points in 74 contests in 1993-94, which ranked third in scoring on the team. He was only behind Brian Bradley, who had 64 points, and Petr Klima with his 55 points. In 1994-95, he split his season between Tampa Bay and the Blackhawks. He chalked up six goals and 11 assists in 31 games with the Lightning before he was dealt to Chicago for a sixth-round pick. He spent the rest of his time in the Windy City before he retired in 1997.
Related: 3 Free Agents That Won’t Be Back with the Lightning in 2022-23
Savard isn’t remembered for his time in Tampa Bay, but he accomplished a lot during his NHL career. He won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1993 and played in nine All-Star Games. His best scoring season was in 1987-88 with 131 (44 goals and 87 assists). He had a total of five 100-point campaigns, all with Chicago. He was also the Blackhawks’ captain from 1988 to 1989 and had his number 18 retired by the organization in 1998. The Hockey Hall of Fame inducted Savard in their 2000 class along with Walter Bush as a builder and Joe Mullen as a player.
Andreychuk is the Lightning captain who led a stacked lineup to the promised land in 2004 when the club won their first Stanley Cup. He was a veteran who provided leadership for the young talents while also carrying a good portion of the offensive load.
Before arriving in Tampa, Andreychuk played for the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, and Colorado Avalanche. He signed with the Bolts in the summer of 2001 as a free agent after he had played over 1,300 games in his career and was 37 years old. Andreychuk tallied the following regular-season stats while playing in Tampa Bay:
- 2001-02: 21 goals and 17 assists for 38 points in 82 games
- 2002-03: 20 goals and 14 assists for 34 points in 72 games
- 2003-04: 21 goals and 18 assists for 39 points in 82 games
- 2005-06: 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points in 42 games
He also put up four goals and 20 points between the 2003 and 2004 postseasons (a total of 34 games). On that 2004 run, Andreychuk had a goal and 13 assists in 23 matchups. He paved the way for future Lightning teams thanks to his leadership and experience.
Andreychuk retired from the NHL in 2006. He finished his career with 1,639 regular-season games played, 640 goals, and 698 assists for 1,338 points. He was the all-time league-leader in powerplay goals until Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin broke that record, getting his 275th this season. Andreychuk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the 2017 class.
Ciccarelli joined the NHL as an undrafted player with the Minnesota North Stars in 1980-81. He was an offensive powerhouse for the club, with 100-point seasons in both 1981-82 – 106 points in 76 games (55 goals and 51 assists) – and in 1986-87 – 103 points in 80 games (52 goals and 51 assists). He suited up in parts of nine campaigns for the North Stars before he played with the Capitals and Detroit Red Wings. It was not until the 1996-97 season that Ciccarelli was brought in to play for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay received Ciccarelli from the Red Wings for a fourth-round pick in the late summer of 1996. He fit in right away. In 77 regular-season matchups in 1996-97, he amassed 35 goals and 60 points. He was second in points only to Chris Gratton, who had 62 in 82 games. Ciccarelli returned for his second campaign and suited up for 34 games with 11 goals and six assists before he was traded midseason to the rival Florida Panthers (Ciccarelli and defenseman Jeff Norton were traded to the Panthers for forward Jody Hull and goalie Mark Fitzpatrick).
Ciccarelli played with Florida through the 1998-99 season. After that, he hung up his skates. He finished his career having played in over 1,200 games and produced 608 goals and 592 assists for 1,200 points. He also made four All-Star Game appearances. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010.
The Hockey Hall of Famer with the shortest tenure for the Lightning was Mark Recchi. He is better remembered as a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, and Boston Bruins. He first entered the league in the 1988-89 season with the Penguins, playing in 15 games and tallying one goal and one assist. The following campaign, he became a regular, posting 30 goals and 37 assists in 74 matches. He won his first Cup in 1991 with a loaded roster that included Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, and Tom Barrasso, among others.
Despite his talent, Recchi often found himself making homes in new cities throughout the NHL. He played parts of four seasons with Pittsburgh, followed by parts of four seasons with the Pennsylvania state rival Philadelphia Flyers, went to Montreal for a few campaigns, and returned to Philly a second time. He also had stints with the Penguins twice, the Hurricanes (where Recchi won his second Cup), and the Atlanta Thrashers for a season before landing in Tampa Bay as a free agent before the 2008-09 season.
In 2008-09, Stamkos was in his rookie season after being drafted first overall by the club in 2008. Barry Melrose was head coach for the Bolts but was fired after only 16 games and a 5-7-4 record. He was replaced by interim head coach Rick Tocchet. The team also made quite a few transactions that season, including Recchi, who inked a one-year contract and played 62 games for the club with 45 points (13 goals and 32 assists). He didn’t finish the year with Tampa Bay. He and a 2010 second-round pick were dealt to the Bruins for defenseman Matt Lashoff and winger Martins Karsums. Recchi played until 2010-11 when he won his third and final Cup as a member of the Bruins. Following that, he announced his retirement.
Recchi played in over 1,600 games in the NHL between seven organizations. He posted 1,533 points during that time (577 goals and 956 assists) and was named to seven All-Star Games.
Most of the players who represent the Lightning in the Hockey Hall of Fame did not play in Tampa Bay for most of their careers besides St. Louis and, to a lesser extent Andreychuk. Savard is thought of as a Blackhawk, Ciccarelli as a North Star, and Recchi as a Bruin or Penguin. Other Bolts will join this list. Stamkos will be inducted to the Hall when he is eligible. Hedman as well, Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and maybe even Brayden Point. The organization’s recent success doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. But for now, these are the five former members of the Lightning organization who are immortalized by their inductions into the Hockey Hall of Fame.