March 7, 2013; Tampa FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie (76) passes the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at Tampa Times Forum. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

76 Days Until the Tampa Bay Lightning Home Opener

Another day has come to pass, which means that we are ultimately one day closer to the 2014-15 Tampa Bay Lightning Home Opener.  I know that the wait is a long and arduous one, but I assure you at the end of the day it will be totally worth it.

So, what do we do to kill the time in between now and the start of the season? The answer is simple.

Let’s take a look at a memorable Number 76 of our own, former Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pierre-Cedric Labrie.

While Labrie may not always be at the top of the score sheet, he provided a utility that the team has needed quite desperately for some time; someone who could step up to the plate like Steve Downie used to when someone steps out of line with one of our players.

It may not seem like one of the most important jobs on the team – and by all rights, it’s not – but it does serve a vital function; especially, when you are going up against bigger and more aggressive teams like Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins.

Unfortunately, Labrie did not spend the entirety of the last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. After playing 13 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning and failing to find himself on the scoreboard, the 28 year old Baie-Comeau, Quebec native was sent to the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch.

Labrie found some success with the Crunch during the remainder of the season. In the 38 games in which he suited up for with the Syracuse Crunch last season, he was able to score 2 goals and 4 assists for a total of 6 points.

Unfortunately, once the Free Agency period started this year, Nacho found himself with a new arena to call home. From now on, his home will be the United Center; home of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Now, whether or not he will play for the Blackhawks or their AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs, is yet to be seen; however, not matter where he finds himself, they will be getting a quality guy who is well-liked among the locker room and who is not afraid to get dirty when the time is right.

I know there is one thing for sure, there are some of us here in the Bolts Nation who miss him already, and the season hasn’t even started yet.

On the bright side, the Tampa Bay Lightning has a new, young team that is chomping at the bit to get the next season underway and escort Lord Stanley back to Hockey Paradise where he can perfect his tan.


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