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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Wade Flaherty. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Gross /Allsport
Wade Flaherty. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Gross /Allsport /

Tampa Bay Lightning: Wade Flaherty

Two of the five NHL teams that tried could not get a single win out of Flaherty. But unlike the Lightning before them, at least the Nashville Predators watched him build a memory elsewhere in their organization.

While his one-time teammates chased Lord Stanley, Flaherty corralled the Calder Cup and AHL playoff MVP honors with the Milwaukee Admirals — the Predators’ lifelong affiliate. He then managed another four solid seasons in North America’s second-best league followed by one year with Claude Lemieux and the China Sharks.

As it happened, Flaherty had started his big-league career with another species of Shark on this side of the Pacific. And he did it on the heels of another minor league championship with the IHL’s Kansas City Blades in 1992.

Flaherty may never have translated his Triple-A brilliance to NHL starting status, but he was a staple in San Jose through 1998. Likewise, over three seasons with the Islanders, he twice garnered action in 20 games. Any goalie who sticks that long is likely to generate local name recognition.

With that said, he stuck in the Lightning organization shorter than anywhere else. He might have played more than 20 games for the 2000-01 Islanders if not for a February trade to Tampa.

Overlapping with Aucoin on that lowly Lightning team, Flaherty lost a 6-0 romp to New Jersey in early March, then a 2-1 kick in the teeth via Washington in early April. Four months later, he moved downstate to the Panthers via free agency.