5 Things Lightning Fans Should be Thankful for this Year

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

5. Jeff Vinik

The man with the plan. The Tampa Bay Lightning would be nowhere without Jeff Vinik. Since taking over in 2010, Vinik has taken the Lightning and Tampa community to new levels on and off the ice. He has helped turn Tampa into one of the most desirable places for people and players to live and work. The overall work he has done with the organization and community was best reflected when the Lightning were ranked the top sports franchise in North America in 2016.

When taking over, Vinik did not bother trying to leave his own handprints on the hockey club. He hired the right people who helped make the Lightning organization successful on and off the ice. A lot of owners in other sports want their voice heard in team operations, but Vinik’s hands off approach has proven to be a winning formula. While the face of it all, his ability to put the right people in the right places in the organization has helped the club reach unimaginable heights.