Today in Hockey History: June 27

Today in Hockey History: June 27

June 27th, 2020 A pair of National Hockey League Entry Drafts were held on this date, with both teams from the Sunshine State getting a crack at the top pick. Also, the NHL newest rival made a huge splash on this date in 1972. Lightning Strike First The 27 teams of the NHL got together in Buffalo, NY, on...
Lightning: 5 Best Yzerman-Era Draft Picks

Lightning: 5 Best Yzerman-Era Draft Picks

June 25th, 2020 Throughout his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning, general manager Steve Yzerman found great success at the draft. Even if he struggled at times with first-round picks, his team of scouts consistently pulled top-talent out of all rounds of the draft. With the 2019 edition representing the...

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Eugene Helfrick

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June 18th, 2020
Lightning History

Although there have been no games played on this date, there has still been plenty of National Hockey League history made over the years. One of the greatest players to ever play the game was honored following his last full season in the league. A head coach was traded for the first time and a whole slew of goaltenders were also on the move. Orr Wins One Last Norris On June 18, 1975, the NHL gave out their postseason awards and for the eighth straight season the Norris Trophy, given to the best defenseman in the league, was won by Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins. Orr also won the Art Ross Trophy for leading the entire league in scoring with 135 points. It was the second time he won this award in his career and he is as the only blueliner to lead the NHL in points. His 46 goals during the 1974-75 season are still the record for the most by a defenseman. He finished the season with a remarkable plus-80 rating. This was Orr’s final full season in the NHL before knee injuries...
June 10th, 2020
Tampa Bay Lightning

In the last few seasons, Tampa Bay Lightning fans have looked at each other and asked a simple question, "What should we do about Tyler Johnson?" While this is technically not the offseason, it is June, so it's time to dig into this annual question. Related: Ben Bishop Trade Revisited For as long as he has been with the franchise, Johnson has been a conversation starter. From helping the Lightning's then AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, win the 2012 Calder Cup to being named the AHL MVP in 2013, to breaking into the NHL with a Calder Trophy nomination in 2014 and being a member of one of the best lines in hockey, posting the first postseason hat trick in franchise history in 2015, he did it all in his first five seasons with the club. Few undrafted free-agents will ever experience the career success that Tyler Johnson has had with the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers) Since that exceptional start to his career, Johnson has been a consistently good...
June 7th, 2020
Tampa Bay Lightning

Few players in Tampa Bay Lightning history have the legacy of Ondrej Palat. We all know the story by now. As an overage seventh-round selection at the 2011 NHL Draft, Palat defied all expectations by breaking out with the Lightning's then-AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. Related: NHL Power Rankings Based On Positional Rankings After helping to lead the Admirals to the 2012 Calder Cup, Palat received a brief call-up during the 2012-13 season before taking over a starting role with the franchise. Now, with nearly 500 games played and more than 300 points scored with the Lightning, he has become a bit of a local hockey legend. While he may not have the draft pedigree of Victor Hedman or even Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat became one of the Tampa Bay Lightning's all-time great players throughout the 2010s. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston) However, in recent years, things have started getting tougher for Palat. A near-constant string of injuries has severely limited his play,...
June 7th, 2020
Lightning History

There was still plenty of hockey played on June 7 and we got to see a trio of unique Stanley Cup winners, some overtime drama, clutch goaltending and one streak extended while another was snapped. Plus, some of the best players in National Hockey League history got their calls to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Three Historic Cup Wins The Detroit Red Wings ended a 42-year championship drought on June 7, 1997. By beating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1, in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, they won their first title since 1955. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom opened the scoring late in the first period before Darren McCarty scored the eventual series-clinching goal in the second. The Flyers get a goal from Eric Lindros with 15 seconds to play, but it was too late to mount a serious comeback. Goaltender Mike Vernon was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player of the postseason. He went 16-4 with a 1.76 goals-against average and .927 save percentage a year after losing...
June 5th, 2020
Lightning History

June 5 has given us a little bit of everything throughout National Hockey League history. There were epic comebacks, expansion, awards given out and even one of the greatest NHL players signed on with a competing league. Cardiac Canes The Edmonton Oilers hosted the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, on June 5, 2006. Things started off great for the home team as they built a 3-0 lead in the second period. Chris Pronger scored the first-ever penalty shot goal in Final history to go along with goals from Fernando Pisani and Ethan Moreau. Rod Brind’Amour got the momentum going the other way by getting the Hurricanes on the board just before the second intermission. They got two goals from Ray Whitney to tie the game and Justin Williams gave them a 4-3 lead midway through the third period. Ales Hemsky tied the game about three minutes later, but shortly afterward, the Oilers lost goaltender Dwayne Roloson to a right knee injury and does not return for...
June 4th, 2020
Tampa Bay Lightning

Under normal circumstances, the Tampa Bay Lightning would either be gearing up for the Stanley Cup Final or they would be preparing for a busy June, with free agency and the 2020 NHL Draft just around the corner. Of course, nothing right now is normal. While it may be June, the draft is still months away. While this should come as no surprise, but the THW staff loves talking about the NHL draft. Despite this, it has been impossible for those around THW to not talk about it constantly. The 2020 draft class is fascinating, with fantastic prospects littering every round. All of this intrigue led us to do a first-round mock draft that quickly ballooned into a full, seven-round event. Related: THW 2020 Mock NHL Draft Round 1 Throughout the mock draft, I selected for the Lightning. My mindset was simple: I wanted to make the most out of Tampa Bay's many mid-round picks by taking the best player available when possible. With so many great players in this draft, there was some...