Alan Thicke, who passed away Tuesday from a heart attack at the age of 69, is known for many things.
He's best remembered for playing the patient dad on the hit sitcom Growing Pains. He hosted a late-night talk show called Thicke of the Night. And he also was a talented song writer, having written TV themes for The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes.
But another big part of Thicke's life was his love of hockey. In fact, there are reports that Thicke suffered his heart attack while playing hockey with his 19-year-old son, Carter.
And Thicke's passion had a big impact on hockey in Tampa Bay. Longtime Lightning fans will remember that Thicke was the master of ceremonies for the Lightning's first-ever game at Expo Hall in 1992.
Thicke was born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario — about a six-hour drive north of Toronto. He grew up a hockey fan and was close friend with hockey great Wayne Gretzky. Thicke served as emcee of Gretzky's wedding.
Thicke also became friends with Lightning founder Phil Esposito when Esposito was a player for the Rangers. Thicke wrote the cult-classic song Hockey Sock Rock that was sung by Esposito and turned into a video for charity.
Out of that friendship, Thicke was invited to be on the on-ice pregame host for the Lightning's inaugural game against the Blackhawks on Oct. 7, 1992. He also participated in promoting the 1999 All-Star Game, which was played in Tampa.
So many will remember Thicke as Dr. Jason Seaver, but those of us in Tampa Bay will always remember Thicke and his association with the Lightning.