Mar 19, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) picks up the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Lightning beat the Maple Leafs 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

77 Days Until the Tampa Bay Lightning Home Opener

It may not seem like it, but we are slowly approaching the 2014-15 Tampa Bay Lightning Home Opener. Any off-season feels like an eternity, but I am here to assure you that there is not that much longer to wait. In fact, there are only 77 more days left.

What does this mean, you may find yourself asking?

Well, it means that it’s time for us to take an in-depth look at our very own Number 77, Victor Hedman.

The six foot six inch tall Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native has been one of the most valuable assets on the Lightning defense for quite some time now.

As crazy as this is going to sound, I think the NHL Lockout during the 2012-13 season was one of the best things that could have ever happened to Hedman.

I am not sure exactly what happened to him while he was playing for Barys Astana in the KHL during the lockout, but he came back to the Bolts a whole new defenseman. Since returning, he has been more aggressively offense with the puck, and has a stronger hold on the defensive aspect of the game as well.

Last season, the 23 year old defenseman suited up for 75 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In that amount of time, he was able to net 13 goals and 42 assists for a total of 55 points.

Now, let’s break this down her for a minute. This made Hedman:

–       Fourth overall on the team in points.

–       Number seven overall in goals

–       Number one overall in assists

–       Number one in points among Defensemen

–       Number one in goals among Defensemen

–       Number one in assists among Defensemen

I think it is safe to say that Hedman was a leader not just for defensemen, but the team overall. This is especially meaningful considering the amount of veteran leadership the team had last season.

The best part of this entire deal is that he doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. At this point and time, we have the young defenseman under contract until the conclusion of the 2016-17 season when he is due to become an Unrestricted Free Agent.

I don’t know about you, but if I was Steve Yzerman – which thankfully I’m not – I would look into sealing the deal with Hedman as soon as possible when the time comes.

What say you? How long would you like to see Hedman in a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey? What do you expect from the young defenseman next season? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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