February 1, 2013 - Lightning take an early lead, and end it with the score of 8-3. Photos: R. Pitts/ CC Media + Entertainment
Steven Stamkos met with fans during the holidays!
Photots from the Bolts' 4-3 win over Buffalo on October 25th, 2011
The Tampa Bay Lightning have renewed their affiliation agreement with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL, assistant general manager Julien BriseBois announced Monday.
Florida will continue to serve as the Lightning’s primary ECHL affiliate and they will provide the Everblades with players under both NHL and AHL contracts.
“We are very happy to continue our partnership with the Florida Everblades,” BriseBois said. “The Everblades and their management have a strong track record of providing a winning environment for our prospects to develop in and we look forward to helping them win another Kelly Cup."
Based in Estero, the Everblades were founded in 1998 and already have an impressive resume of accomplishments. The Everblades won their franchise’s first ECHL championship, the Kelly Cup, in 2012 and posted a regular season record of 39-26-2-5.
They set a framchise record last season with 280 goals scored during the regular season. They have made 13 consecutive playoff appearances since joining the ECHL, becoming the first team in ECHL history to make back-to-back Kelly Cup Finals appearances in 2003-04 and 2004-05.
The Everblades play at Germain Arena in Estero. The building was built in 1998 and has a capacity of 7,180 for hockey games. The building has hosted more than 300 different entertainment events, including the 2003 Compuware/ECHL All-Star Game. The team has also led the ECHL playoffs in attendance in seven of its 14 seasons in the league.
Tampa Bay previously had secondary affiliations with Augusta, Mississippi, Pensacola, Johnstown, Toledo, Chesapeake, Nashville and Knoxville of the ECHL. The Lightning announced last week that the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League will be the club’s top minor league affiliate beginning in 2012-13