Apr 21, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Keith Aulie (3) shoots against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Birthday to Tampa Bay Lightning Defenseman Keith Aulie!

June 11, 1989 was a special day; especially, to those of us in the Bolts Nation. This was the day that Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Keith Aulie was born!

March 26, 2013; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Keith Aulie (3) and Buffalo Sabres left wing Marcus Foligno (82) fight during the second period at Tampa Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Aulie was originally drafted in the 4th Round (16th Overall) by the Calgary Flames in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. His first professional season would be in 2009-10. He was sent to the Abbotsford Heat, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Flames.

During his time with the Heat, Aulie scored 2 goals and 4 assists for a total of 6 points. After 43 games with the Heat, Aulie’s rights, along with defenseman Dion Phaneuf and forward Fredrick Sjostrom, were traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forwards Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers, Matt Stajan, and defenseman Ian White.

On February 27, 2012 Keith Aulie was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for right wing Carter Ashton.

He is well known to all Lightning fans as the team’s enforcer, taking the place of Steve Downie who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche the season prior. (Don’t even get me started on that subject.)

Of the few players on the Lightning who are willing to drop the gloves and get into it with the other team, Aulie, along with Pierre-Cedric Labrie, is one of the few who can actually fight and win. It was after his very first fight in the NHL, which was against Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers for those of you keeping score, when he earned the nickname “Muhammad Aulie”; a name which has stuck with him to this very day.

This season Aulie played in 45 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In which time, he scored 2 goals and 5 assists with a plus-1 rating.

We here at Bolts By The Bay would like to wish Keith Aulie a very Happy Birthday! We hope that there are many more birthdays to come in Lightning blue.


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