Memo To New Tampa Ownership: You Bought The Lighting Not The Buccaneers

Spencer CallaghanAnalyst IJuly 9, 2008

I understand the new owners of the Tampa Bay Lightning are high-rolling, charismatic Hollywood-types, but perhaps in their exuberance over the purchase of their new team and the "big splash" they promised on the free agent market they forgot to check the fine print on the document they signed to purchase the franchise.

They do know they own the Tampa Bay Lightning and not the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, right?

I ask because they seem to be assembling their roster as if they are required to ice an 11-man offensive unit as they currently have 16 NHL forwards signed to contracts.

Free agent forwards are not Pokemon, you don't "gotta catch em all!"

With the recent signings of Artyukhin, Recchi, Bochenski, Recchi, Malone, Roberts, etc. (I've lost count) the Lightning now have enough forwards to field a decent soccer team—with spares.

And they haven't even officially signed Stamkos yet, which would make 17.

Add in the loss of defenseman Dan Boyle and the still shaky situation in between the pipes and you gotta wonder; did Barry Melrose manage to convince the new ownership group that it's still 1993? I know his hair thinks it is.

With 16 forwards and a depleted defence, the Bolts are clearly looking to play run-and-gun hockey, just like Barry's mullet remembers.

So as an outsider looking in I gotta ask Tampa fans, "What the heck is going on down there?" Can someone explain it to me please?