Best Of Web: May 18 – 25
HOT OR NOT
As if Lightning forward Nate Thompson wasn't having a good enough week as it is, coming fresh off a bronze medal victory at the IIHF World Championships, it just got a whole lot better.
On Wednesday, Thompson was listed as a finalist for Mix 100.7 FM's contest to see which Bay Area professional sports star will be crowned "Hottest Tampa Bay Athlete."
The local Tampa Bay radio station also has similar categories for its annual iHeart Tampa Bay Awards, including "Hottest Tampa Bay News Anchor/Reporter," "Best Weekend Getaway Spot," and "Best Tampa Bay Mall."
Now, I'm not sure how official any of these rankings really are, but I can tell you that Thompson's competition in his individual category includes teammates Vincent Lecavalier, Teddy Purcell and Steven Stamkos, not to mention Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman and Tampa Bay Rays players Evan Longoria, Matt Joyce and David Price among others.
Keep in mind, too, that Lecavalier was already named to a recent issue of Cosmopolitan's list of "Sexiest NHL Players," so if you're thinking about voting and want to spread the love throughout the entire Bolts roster, choose wisely when making your selection here.
PUMPED UP KICKS
It was great to attend Thursday night's third annual Sneaker Soiree at Pepin Hospitality Centre in Tampa, where athletes, coaches and personalities alike from Tampa Bay's local sports teams converged to celebrate all that their club has to offer to the local sports scene.
Personnel arrived on the red carpet looking dapper, dressed in suits garnished at the bottom by a pair of sneakers in what made for a fun and humorous twist.
Several awards were even handed out, with Martin St. Louis taking home the Tampa Bay Lightning's Moment Of The Year Award for his performance this past season in winning the Art Ross scoring race. Each team, including the Rays and Buccaneers, also had a moment for which they were honored.
Head coach Jon Cooper participated in a roundtable discussion with Rays skipper Joe Maddon alongside Bucs head coach Greg Schiano to discuss coaching philosophies and to swap some stories from around the locker room as they related to player rituals, traditions and other routine activities of the sort.
All and all, it was a great event, capped off by City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn presenting Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber with a key to the city for putting an end to an illustrious career.
THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS
Being avid Lightning fans, some of you even dating back to the early days, I would imagine most of you like to keep up with former players and coaches who are currently employed by one of the other 29 teams.
With that said, I also would just as easily guess that John Tortorella is one of them, and you have seen one of his press conferences that can only be characterized as brief as they are entertaining, as memorable as they are epic, and so on and so forth.
As it turns out, however, Tortorella is not alone in the hockey world when it comes to head coaches who have a preference for brevity during media scrums.
As of Wednesday night, add Ottawa Senators head coach Paul MacLean to that list.
MacLean stood at the podium for all of 13 seconds following a 7-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins this week in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, fielding questions from reporters declaring a simple promise to attending media that went something like this:
Indeed, on Friday night Ottawa will be going to Pittsburgh, and whether they come to play or not remains to be seen.
And, if you're still in the voting mood after showing some love for the Lightning players (see above), continue on to see how MacLean's press conference stacks up against some of these classics, just for good measure: