Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Lightning's Nate Thompson

Nate Thompson also is a baseball fan. He says the Cubs’ Wrigley Field is his favorite stadium and Chicago his favorite big city.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Nate Thompson also is a baseball fan. He says the Cubs’ Wrigley Field is his favorite stadium and Chicago his favorite big city.

Nate Thompson has been one of the Lightning's most reliable and versatile players the past two seasons, earning the nickname "Textbook" for seemingly always being in the right spot. The Anchorage, Alaska, native is active outdoors (including fishing around a bunch of bears back home) and on Twitter (@natethompson44). Thompson, who turned 27 Wednesday, sat down with the St. Petersburg Times staff writer Joe Smith to discuss his offseason travels overseas, his favorite road-trip partner and singing like Sinatra.

You went to Ireland with teammate Teddy Purcell in the offseason. Where did you go?

Dublin. … Going to Europe is so much different. I will say over there the people were so friendly, they went out of their way, told us where to go, where to stay away from and everything.

Where else have you traveled overseas?

I've been overseas to (the Czech Republic) and Germany, but that was for hockey for some USA team when I was 17, 18. (This offseason) was the only (trip) I had really taken for leisure. It was a lot of fun, and I'd like to go back to Europe again.

You spend a lot of your summer in Minnesota training. Been to the Mall of America?

Been there a few times. It's pretty touristy.

Been on the Paul Bunyan log ride?

Long time ago. When I was 13, 14. Haven't been on it since. It's a good time when you're 14 (laughs).

And you drove back to Florida from Minnesota with your dog (Diesel, a black Lab), right? How was that?

It was about 24, 25 hours. I went the first day … 18 hours, just got in the zone, listened to some book CDs — those take six, seven hours. … Pack up coolers of water and drinks, and another cooler of food, and just get on the open road. The rest is history.

And how was Diesel traveling?

Back seat. And he sleeps the whole way. He's probably the best traveler anybody could have asked for. He doesn't talk back, so that's kind of nice. He's a great traveler. Every time I had to stop, he stopped and then hopped right back and ready to go.

So more bathroom breaks for you?

I had to stop more than he did.

How long have you had him?

(He's) 7. … (He has) the same birthday as me, which is pretty funny. He's a good dog. I don't mind sharing it with him.

You participated in batting practice with some Lightning teammates at Tropicana Field this summer. You're a baseball fan. What's your favorite stadium?

Wrigley Field. It's the greatest. I've always loved Chicago. Of all the big cities — New York, Boston — I think Chicago is my favorite. … And going to Wrigley, I don't know what it is, it's kind of in (a) neighborhood. I loved it.

Where else have you been?

Yankee Stadium, Safeco Field, Fenway. Haven't been to Camden Yards. Been to all the major big ones.

If you could be onstage with any band, which one would it be?

I'd like to go on stage with Pearl Jam. That'd be awesome, sing with Eddie Vedder.

You sing karaoke?

I do karaoke. My sister got married Labor Day weekend. She had a DJ and karaoke, so I did a couple songs.

Which ones?

Obviously, if you do some country songs, it's always easier to sing. But I did some Frank Sinatra, too. If you do (Sinatra), New York, New York, or I've Got the World on a String. I like Frank. I'm a big Frank Sinatra fan.

Favorite childhood TV show?

I've always been a big fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I've watched all the movies, had all the toys. I had everything.

What was the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?

I think everyone goes with Michelangelo cause he's funny. He was always the fun one.

You said you're never too old to dress up for Halloween. What's the favorite costume that you've worn?

Growing up, my favorite one is my favorite superhero. Superman. He's the best superhero. He can fly. He's strong. He's the man.

But is he "textbook"?

(Laughs). I think he's pretty textbook. He doesn't really mess up too much.

Kickin' back with Tampa Bay Lightning's Nate Thompson 10/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2011 5:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  2. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during the first inning of Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  4. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]