There is a bit of irony for Jay Feaster, who now serves as the general manager for the Calgary Flames, working for the team Tampa Bay beat to win the Stanley Cup when Feaster served the same role with the Lighting eight years ago.
As part of the Lightning's 20th anniversary season, Feaster was on hand Tuesday night as Tampa Bay took on Florida to be honored as one of the top 20 Lightning personnel members in franchise history. The top 20 honorees, which will be recognized at various times throughout the season, were voted on by fans.
"I think that means a lot (to be selected by the fans),'' Feaster said. "And when I left, it wasn't as if I necessarily wanted to leave. So from that perspective, to have the fans vote that and be asked to come back …''
Feaster served as assistant general manager under Jacques Demers starting in 1998 and retained the role when Rick Dudley took over the role starting in 1999. When Dudley was let go during the 2001-02 season, Feaster took over as Tampa Bay's general manager on Feb. 10, 2002, and went on to help lead the team to four consecutive playoff appearances (2003, '04, '06 and '07) before being fired when new ownership took over in the summer of 2008.
He landed in Calgary a year later as assistant general manager before taking over the head job for the Flames. But he'll always have a soft spot for where his NHL career began.
"I love it here, I still bleed Tampa blue,'' Feaster said. "I spent 10 years with this organization and we did some real good things, so this is always home.''
Entering Tuesday's game against Florida, the Lightning had goals from 12 scorers while nine teams entered the day with fewer than 12 total goals scored — New Jersey (11), Washington (11), Detroit (11), Columbus (11), Calgary (11), Los Angeles (11), Nashville (10), Colorado (10) and Florida (8).
Dana Tyrell became Tampa Bay's 13th different goal scorer with his second-period goal.
Tampa Bay also has seven players with at least three goals, and of the 21 skaters to appear in a game this season, 18 have at least a point. But don't tell coach Guy Boucher about the sizzling offense to start the season. Boucher has good reason to concentrate on the efforts at the other end of the ice.
"We know we have a lot of guys that can contribute offensively, but to be honest I'm just focusing on the defensive side of things right now,'' Boucher said.
A potentially scary situation during Tuesday's optional morning skate turned out to be nothing more than an equipment issue.
As Cory Conacher came off the ice, he appeared to have difficulty walking in a straight line to the locker room. At one point, the 23-year-old rookie nearly stumbled to the ground.
Conacher, who has Type 1 diabetes, said it was not a medical issue but a problem with his skates not being laced correctly. He likes to skip the second hole from the top of his skates.
"I started doing that in college, having that one hole opened a little bit, and it felt good,'' said Conacher, who scored his third goal of the season in the first period. "(The other day), the same thing happened. It was a little messed up, and as we were getting ready to get on the ice I could feel it. It feels like my one leg is off a little bit from the other one.''
Nuts and Bolts
D Brendan Mikkelson, D Marc-Andre Bergeron and LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie were scratched. … C Steven Stamkos has at least a point in all six games this season. … The Panthers were without C Stephen Weiss (groin). … LW B.J. Crombeen played despite wearing a walking boot on his left foot on Monday and engaged in his third fight in six games. "I told him, he's not allowed to be hurt,'' Boucher said.