Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones, Times sports columnist

Tom Jones writes columns and television/radio commentary for the Tampa Bay Times' Sports section. He has covered everything from high schools to colleges to professional sports since starting with the St. Petersburg Evening Independent in 1986. After the Independent, Tom worked at the Times (1987-91), the Tampa Tribune (1991-96), the Times again (1996-2000), the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (2000-03) and returned for his third stint at the Times in 2003. Though he has covered all sports, Tom is a hockey writer at heart. He covered the Tampa Bay Lightning from its first game in 1992 until moving to Minnesota to cover the Wild for three years. He returned to the Times again to cover the Lightning until taking over as writer and editor for Page Two in 2006. He lists Herb Brooks, Lou Piniella and Wayne Gretzky as the most interesting personalities he has covered and the 2002 Winter Olympics as the best event he has covered. Tom co-hosts a sports talk show weekday mornings from 6-9 on WDAE 620-AM, 95.3-FM. He previously hosted a weekly sports roundtable show on Bright House Sports Network. Radio talk show (620-AM, 95.3-FM): listen live

Bucs wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) races 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. [JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]

Bucs-Eagles: Welcome to Tampa Bay, DeSean Jackson

TAMPA — DeSean Jackson found himself running all alone down the middle of the field. He glanced at the Jumbotron and saw his quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, winding up like he was trying throw the football out of Raymond James...
Published: 09/16/18
DIRK SHADD   |   Times  With the spirit of Gasparilla alive and well, NHL All-Stars Erik Karlsson, from the Ottawa Senators, and Victor Hedman, from the Tampa Bay Lightning, enter the arena decked out as pirates as they arrive for the NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday (01/27/18). The two players, both from Sweeden, got dressed at Hedman's place before making their way to the rink.

Why the Lightning did not get Erik Karlsson

BRANDON — Was the Lightning asleep at the wheel when superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson was traded from Ottawa to San Jose on Thursday?Did Steve Yzerman stepping aside as Lightning general manager distract the franchise from making...
Published: 09/14/18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Hey, maybe 3-0 isnít so crazy after all for Bucs

TAMPA — Just a few minutes ago, it seemed like we all were wondering if the Bucs could win just one of their first three games.Now?We're wondering if the Bucs can win all three.Put it this way, Bucs fans don't need to...
Published: 09/14/18
Blake Barnett (11) and the USF Bulls face Illinois Saturday in Chicago. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times

College football picks for week 3: Times staff predictions

USF is in Chicago to face Lovie Smith and the Illini.UF is playing host to Colorado State in the
Published: 09/14/18
Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick earned NFC offensive player of the week for his performance in Tampa Bay's 48-40 victory Sunday at New Orleans. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

NFL picks Week 2: Our Bucs coverage team makes its predictions

The Bucs enter stage 2 of their season-opening gauntlet against defending champions.The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles arrive at Raymond James Stadium. They were 3.5-point favorites as of Thursday morning and the Bucs -- already...
Published: 09/13/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on what it takes to finally win the Stanley Cup:

Stanley Cup clock ticking for Steven Stamkos, Lightning

TAMPA — Steven Stamkos had a quiet, uneventful summer."Which was a good thing, especially after the last couple of summers," the Lightning captain said Thursday as training camp opened.Stamkos wasn't rehabilitating a serious...
Published: 09/13/18
Lightning right wing Ryan Callahan (24) heads to the bench while on the ice with the team at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon on Tuesday. (DIRK SHADD | Times)

Five questions heading into Lightning training camp

TAMPA — Is this the season the Lightning wins the Stanley Cup? That's the burning question for the Lightning.But there are others to answer first as the Lightning reports to training camp Thursday — 112 days since it was...
Published: 09/12/18
Steve Yzerman's announcement that he is stepping down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning stirred speculation he would eventually return to the Detroit Red Wings as general manager.  DIRK SHADD | Times

Stevie, why? Resignation of GM Steve Yzerman is a dark day for the Lightning

TAMPA — Tuesday was not a great day for hockey.In fact, Tuesday could go down as one of the darkest days in Tampa Bay sports history. Just two days before the start of training camp in a season in which it is favored to win the...
Published: 09/11/18
Steve Yzerman will step down as the Lightning's general manager. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]

Steve Yzerman steps down as Lightning general manager

TAMPA — Steve Yzerman announced this afternoon that he is stepping down after eight seasons as general manager of the Lightning.Yzerman will stay in  the organization for the 2018-19 season as an advisor to GM Julien...
Published: 09/11/18
Tight end O.J. Howard makes a catch during the Bucs' victory over the Saints Sunday in New Orleans. [Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP]

Explosive plays make the difference in Bucsí win over Saints

NEW ORLEANS — The game was five minutes old and the Bucs were already trailing.The Saints offense looked like a hot knife and the Bucs defense looked like butter. The 2018 season was barely underway, and the Bucs had already been...
Published: 09/09/18