30 seconds with …
D Matt Taormina
Favorite cereal: Raisin bran
Your first car: A 2002 Chevy Cavalier
Skill you wish you had: Being out in public and not being afraid of being judged
Guilty pleasure at the mall: Any electronics
Celebrity crush: Jessica Alba
The Lightning did a nice thing during the 2008 draft when, directed by then-owner Oren Koules, it used its seventh-round and final choice on David Carle, who found out two days before he had a heart condition that ended his hockey career. Carle, brother of Lightning D Matt Carle, recently was named an assistant coach at the University of Denver. It is a homecoming of sorts for David, who from 2008-12 was a student assistant coach at Denver, which honored his athletic scholarship after he was diagnosed and from where he graduated with a finance degree.
David's Lightning connections are several. During his first stint at Denver, he worked under then-coach George Gwozdecky, now a Lightning assistant. David also spent a season as an assistant at Green Bay of the junior United States league, previously coached by Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
But being drafted by Tampa Bay is a highlight, Matt said: "A very nice gesture. Certainly I don't think he'll ever forget. For him to go out as a hockey player on a high note, maybe it was a little bit of closure for him."
Lightning players raised about $5,000 during November, when as part of the league's annual Movember campaign to raise awareness of men's health issues, mustaches were grown.
Some players were happy to again go clean shaven.
"(I feel) 10 years younger," said C Nate Thompson, who added that wife Cristin also approved. "She likes at least a little bit of stubble. But she was not a fan of the mustache, that's for sure."
Number of the day
Money the Lightning expects to gain annually from the league's 12-year, $5.2 billion Canadian television deal, half of which will go to the players as an increase in the salary cap
Quote to note
"I've just never cared for the Beatles."
Phil Esposito, Lightning founder