"INSIDE THE LIGHTNING - ROB DIMAIO"
Sun Sports' popular INSIDE THE LIGHTNING series goes behind the scenes with Tampa Bay Lightning RW Rob DiMaio this month. The episode premieres Monday, April 24, at 8pm statewide on Sun Sports with several replays scheduled over the next several weeks.
INSIDE THE LIGHTNING host Paul Kennedy sits down with DiMaio and discusses his recent return to the Bay area. DiMaio was a member of the inaugural Tampa Bay Lightning team in the 1992-93 season and re-joined the franchise this season. During the half-hour program, he fondly recollects Opening Night in November 1992 at Expo Hall in the Tampa Fairgrounds, Doug Crossman's 6-point game on Long Island vs. the New York Islanders, and his relationship with former Lightning Head Coach Terry Crisp.
DiMaio was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and enjoyed playing soccer as well as hockey during his childhood. Ken Hitchcock, now Head Coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, coached him during his junior playing days in Kamloops, before he moved on to Medicine Hat. There, DiMaio played three seasons, winning two Memorial Cup trophies, as well as collecting the 1988 Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup MVP. In 179 games played for the Tigers, he posted totals of 94 goals and 116 assists.
Drafted by the Islanders with 118th overall pick in the 1987 Entry Draft, DiMaio recalls playing for Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour and Arbour's impact on his career. DiMaio's first stint with the Lightning began when Tampa Bay claimed him in the NHL Expansion Draft in June 1992.
Now in his 17th season, his spirited style and gritty determination have taken DiMaio on a hockey odyssey that has seen him suit up for seven NHL franchises and play in almost 900 games. Along the way, he has made an impact with his 'never say die' attitude and leadership skills.
INSIDE THE LIGHTNING: ROB DIMAIO airs on Sun Sports 4/24, 8pm; 4/26, 11:30am; 4/30, 12pm; 5/2, 12:30pm; 5/5, 7:30pm; 5/7, 12pm; 5/8, 9:30pm; 5/11, 11:30am; 5/12, 11pm; 5/17, 7:30pm; 5/21, 1pm; and 5/27, 9pm (ET).