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)

Reversed jerseys symbolize unity for locked out Tampa Bay Lightning players

BRANDON — The way Steven Stamkos sees it, he and his locked-out teammates are "just a bunch of guys playing hockey on the ice."

In that sense there might not be much to read into the players, during informal workouts at the Ice Sports Forum, wearing their Lightning practice jerseys inside out.

On the other hand, given the adversarial relationship growing between the players and league, the symbolism is difficult to miss.

"We're united," defenseman Sami Salo said. "We're standing together."

Eight of the 17 Lightning players who skated Wednesday — Stamkos, Salo, Marty St. Louis, Victor Hedman, Teddy Purcell, Mathieu Garon, Brendan Mikkelson and Pierre-Cedric Labrie — flipped their jerseys to show only the stitching around the logo.

Similar sartorial choices have been reported among players in St. Louis, Vancouver and Montreal.

Not that everyone sees it as a hard-core protest.

"I just did it because the other guys were doing it," Purcell said. "I really didn't think too much ahead of it."

What he and his teammates have fretted over is that Lightning training camp was supposed to open Friday and the first preseason game was supposed to be Sept. 26 until both were shelved when the league on Wednesday canceled all preseason games through Sept. 30.

With no formal negotiations scheduled between the league and the players association, it's unclear when the season might begin.

"Like a lost puppy," Purcell said of his feelings. "We're all in the locker room (saying) 'Wow this (stinks). When is this going to stop?' It's hard to plan for something when you don't know when the resolution is going to come."

For now, players said they will continue skating at the Ice Sports Forum, renting the ice for $350 an hour, dressing in a cramped locker room and lugging their equipment to and from the rink.

As for wearing jerseys inside out, Stamkos said, "Obviously, we're not playing for Tampa right now. I don't know if there's a lot of meaning behind it but I guess if you … noticed it and can write about it, I guess there is some meaning to it."

"We'll see how it progresses," Salo said. "Maybe we'll get more guys at the next practice."

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com. View his blog at lightning.tampabay.com. Follow him on Twitter at @LightningTimes.

Reversed jerseys symbolize unity for locked out Tampa Bay Lightning players 09/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 9:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the warm response from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute were proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings, allowing 15 hits and 11 runs while lasting just seven innings total.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Oleg Sosunov, competing in the Lightning’s preseason opener, is a 6-foot-8 defense-man whom Phil Esposito jokes can reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494