5 random players you forgot were on the Tampa Bay Lightning

Evgeni Nabokov, Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
Evgeni Nabokov, Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /
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Here are five random players from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s history you may have forgot about.

Two Tampa Bay Lightning players experienced the start of John Tortorella’s reign behind the Bolts bench, then had their finest hours in 2003-04.

Except while the Lightning holdovers from 2000-01 hauled hockey’s Holy Grail along the Gulf Coast, the pair in question had smaller triumphs overlooking Lake Michigan or the Long Island Sound. One had a minor league playoff title to share with his new team, the other an individual accomplishment in The Show at midwinter.

Another one-time New York Islander later took part in setting up Tampa’s only other run to a Cup final in 2014-15. But he too could not stay to reap any rewards that spring.

All three of the above plus the two other players who round out this random quintet combined for 51 games with the Lightning. The alphabetical leadoff barely logged a majority of those 51 plus more than 1,000 contests with other NHL teams.

Adrian Aucoin. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images)
Adrian Aucoin. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Lightning: Adrian Aucoin

Aucoin and the Lightning had their all-time peak in the same season. Unfortunately for the former, the parties’ brief partnership ended three years prior.

Aucoin was a sixth-year Canuck when a midwinter trade sent him to Tampa Bay in 2001. All things considered, the blueliner fared respectably on a team that finished 23 games below .500 and with a collective minus-79 scoring differential.

For his part, playing only 26 games, Aucoin finished 15th on the 2000-01 Lightning chart with 12 points. Only fellow defenseman Pavel Kubina (24 minutes, six seconds) surpassed him in average nightly ice time (23:34). And his minus-8 rating was still better than that of 15 other regulars.

That said, the Bolts went nowhere that year, and Aucoin was not in their plans for the midseason replacement coach Tortorella’s long-term project. A summer swap shipped him to Long Island, where he got a little more instant gratification.

On a first-time-in-a-longtime playoff team, Aucoin matched his career high of 34 points and finished eighth in the 2001-02 Norris Trophy vote. He raised his ice-time and production bars over the next two seasons while helping the Islanders to two more postseason berths.

But while he returned to the Norris ballot and went to the All-Star Game in 2003-04, his old friends in Tampa were paving their road to the Stanley Cup. Aucoin’s Islanders never went beyond the first round, and were the eventual champion Lightning’s first hurdle in the 2004 tournament.

Following the subsequent yearlong lockout, Aucoin enjoyed eight more seasons with four other NHL teams. Everywhere he went, he stayed longer than he did in Tampa, and ultimately accrued 1,108 games in 18 seasons.

Aucoin may still contend for the title of all-time most outstanding name among the Flames, but not so much with the Bolts.