By Bill Vandermark, Staff Writer | Follow him on Twitter
In 1992, the keys to the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise were passed from the NHL to the Esposito brothers. In the 20 years since it has been a roller coaster ride of highs, lows and everything in between. To commemorate those events, the fans of the franchise are being given a chance to vote for their top moments in Tampa Bay Lightning history.
The website http://www.20YearsofThunder.com has been set up with a high level of interactivity for the fans to give them the chance to relive all of the memories of the past 20 years. With the use of the hash tag #20YearsofThunder on Twitter and integrated Facebook features of the website, the Lightning are fully utilizing social media to promote the upcoming seasons and relive all the past memories.
Some of the memories prominent on the site are the drafting of Roman Hamrlik from the Czech Republic, the NHL Attendance record from 1993, drafting Vinny Lecavalier and Brad Richards in the same draft, the All-Star game in Tampa, the Stanley Cup, Steve Yzerman being named GM and many, many others.
Clicking on each of the timeline photos allows fans to vote for the moment, share the moment on Facebook or add it to your timeline on Facebook by selecting the “I Was There” button. There are also video vignettes from individuals who were present at each point in time. And, beginning in September, fans will be able to add their own memories to the site.
Fan voting will continue now through August 15th. They will then have a similar opportunity to vote for the top players in Tampa Bay Lightning history.
For me, I’ve already narrowed down the choices. My top moment goes along with my top player. It has to be June 7, 2004. It was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and unknown to every hockey fan on the planet; it would be the last NHL game for an entire season. My wife and I had just brought home our first son and he was propped up next to Dad on the couch watching the game. Ruslan Fedotenko scored both goals in a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames to see the Lightning capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history on home ice.
That’s what I remember and for me, it’s hard to top it. What’s your favorite memory and top player?