Tampa Bay Lightning
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Tampa, Florida is the home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a professional hockey team who are members of the Eastern Conference in the National Hockey League. In 2003-2004, they won the Stanley Cup, their first championship win since the team started. Their fans refer to them as the Bolts and as their emblem features a lightning bold inside a circle, the nickname is appropriate.
Brothers Phil and Tony Esposito were awarded the franchise in the 1980s and started the hockey team, recruiting Terry Crisp as the head coach with assistant coach Wayne Cashman. Both were former hockey players from teams that had successful records and had been excellent players. One interesting fact about the early years of the Lightning was a team member Manon Rheaume who was the first woman to play in an NHL game for the team. While she only played in two games, her appearance in the games turned heads.
The team had a successful few years, but ran into trouble in the late 1990s. By trading most of their star players, Phil Esposito had lost the momentum and the Lightning records fell to the bottom of the NHL. While the team was on the brink of bankruptcy, insurance tycoon Art Williams bought the franchise and pumped millions into the team, hoping to make it a profitable enterprise. However, he was not successful and sold the team to William Davidson, who had more experience with hockey teams and management. He made the Lightning successful again and the team won the Stanley Cup in their 2003-2004 season. However, the team faced more ups and downs in the following years and have not been a consistent team since their start.
Tampa Bay Lightning has had a fascinating history with as many ups and downs as a carnival roller coaster. However, having lasted through potential bankruptcy and massive debts, the odds are in their favor to weather any further difficulties.
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