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A brief intro from the new Lightning writer

New Tampa Bay Times Lightning beat reporter Joe Smith

Times files

New Tampa Bay Times Lightning beat reporter Joe Smith

I'm excited to take over the Tampa Bay Lightning beat, hoping to continue the strong standard set by Damian Cristodero, whom I've had the pleasure of working with the last several years.

It seems somewhat fitting to be covering hockey, because it's a sport that sparked my interest in getting into sportswriting more than a decade ago.

After growing up in the Detroit suburbs, not far from "Hockeytown," I attended the University of Michigan, where my first big beat at The Michigan Daily was covering the Wolverines hockey team. I enjoyed every minute of it, making the mile walk to Yost Ice Arena for each practice, seemingly learning something new every day from coach Red Berenson, the long-time NHL player and coach.

Getting to follow the team, including on road trips to Minneapolis, Albany and the Upper Peninsula, I developed a passion for beat writing, chronicling the daily drama, from the news to gamers to human-interest stories. 

I tried to bring that passion in my utility role at the Times, splitting time between the Rays, Bucs and Lightning the past six years, and will continue to do so in this gig. Feel free to contact me anytime, (, or interact on Twitter (TBTimes_JSmith).

Thank you all for reading!

[Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2014 2:03pm]


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