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Tampa Bay Lightning strike twice and our new book celebrates another Stanley Cup championship

The 160-page coffee table book is under production and will ship in time for Christmas
Tampa Bay Lightning Nikita Kucherov points out to the fans as he hugs the Stanley Cup while on stage during their championship celebration at Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 in Tampa.
Tampa Bay Lightning Nikita Kucherov points out to the fans as he hugs the Stanley Cup while on stage during their championship celebration at Raymond James Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Oct. 15, 2020
Updated Oct. 18, 2020

“Thunderstruck,” commemorating the second-ever Stanley Cup championship season of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is selling briskly.

We’ve finished a first editing round of the photographs and stories chronicling this magical and historic season. The book will span from the preseason in 2019 (remember 2019?) through the regular season, onto the playoff bubbles in Toronto and Edmonton, and back home for the delirious celebrations and parades as the players brought the Cup home raised high above their shoulders.

Within hours after the Bolts won the championship, we began reviewing images to pick the book cover.

We had plenty of options, but we kept coming back to Steven Stamkos, the longtime face of the franchise.

Even though he played just 2:47 in the Stanley Cup final, his leadership, grit and determination inspired hockey fans everywhere and galvanized a franchise. His breakaway goal in Game 3 won’t soon be forgotten.

So when the captain was the first to hoist the Cup on the ice in Edmonton, letting out a primal, “I’m King of the North!” type roar, his teammates and fans in Tampa Bay cheered right along with him like loyal liege lords.

"Thunderstruck" contains about 200 photographs.
"Thunderstruck" contains about 200 photographs. [ Times ]

That image is just one of about 200 photographs we will feature in “Thunderstruck.”

We had been quietly planning this book for weeks. If you remember, last year we began work on a book after the Lightning won 62 games, finishing with the best record in the league. That record tied the 1995-1996 Detroit Red Wings for the all-time winningest season in NHL history. The expectations were high, so we started to market “High Voltage” before the puck dropped on the fateful Columbus series last year.

Then the power went out. And stayed out. The Lightning got swept in the opening round.

Hardcore fans still bought the book, and it was chock-full of terrific photography. But some people actually thought we jinxed the team by selling it before the playoffs had started. We weren’t skating. But we took the point. Athletes, coaches and fans can be superstitious. This is why baseball players don’t talk to a pitcher in the dugout if he’s in the midst of a no hitter. It’s why hockey players never step on the team logo in the dressing room. It’s why hardcore fans might wear the same smelly socks when their team plays.

So we kept quiet this time and decided we would only do a book if the Lightning won it all.

It worked out. We announced presales within minutes of the Stanley Cup victory over the Dallas Stars. Our book partners at Pediment Publishing say “Thunderstruck” is the fastest selling hockey book they have ever been involved with.

But you might want to hurry. We’ve been selling the 160-page hardcover coffee table book for $29.95 plus tax and shipping. That’s $10 off the regular price.

The discount has been extended until Nov. 24. After that, the price will increase to $39.95 plus tax and shipping.

The book can be ordered at www.boltsbook.com. It ships in early December, making a perfect holiday gift opportunity.

We’re confident every Lightning fan will want this.