Player: Karel Betik
Date of Birth: October 10, 1978
Birthplace: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Acquired: Tampa Bay’s 5th Choice. 112 overall
in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft
Regular Season Playoffs
Year Team Lge GP G A PTS PIM GP G A PTS PIM
96-97 Kelowna WHL 56 3 10 13 76 6 1 1 2 2
97-98 Kelowna WHL 61 5 25 30 121 7 1 2 3 8
98-99 Cleveland IHL 60 5 9 14 91
98-99 Tampa Bay NHL 3 0 2 2 2
Although things look pretty bad at the moment for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the future holds some real promise with their stable of young players. Led by last years overall number one pick, Vincent LeCavalier, the Bolts have a core of solid and talented players who should propel this team back into playoff contention within the next few years. The one factor that puts a little bit of a damper on the fans optimism is that the majority of their younger players are still in Juniors and are not ready to make the leap for at least another two years. Under the supervision of Head Scout Don Murdoch, Tampa Bay has had a top ten rated draft the last 5 years. Bad decisions and lack of patience by previous management has led the team to bail out on some of their promising young guns and they are forced to pretty much start over. Seeing that the Ottawa Senators have taken same track that the Lightnings current staff wants to take, and in light of their recent success, hopes abound for fans in the Sunshine State. Despite the rankings of this website, currently 16th,I personally feel that they have good depth in the organization.
Why would any team trade their best player for Alexandre Daigle? Jacques Demers sure answered that question when he said he was capable of being the first-line winger in his first game. He has the potential to be a highly touted superstar in this league? Sure fooled anyone who thought he’d excel in Philly. Is this a joke, or does Jacques have something up his sleeve for Alex? It is the third time this year the new GM has dealt with the Flyers, picking up Chris Gratton again, Mike Sillinger, and Petr Svoboda. He must know what he’s doing, because look what he did with players such as Gerard Gallant and Bernie Federko? They don’t sound like big names do they? Bernie is on his way to the hall of fame. Gerard Gallant played good hockey in his final years in the league, mixing grit with pure goal scoring, all because of Jacques Demers.
FIRST ROUND CORNUCOPIA
There are now seven first-round picks on the team: Daigle, Chris Gratton, Wendel Clark, Jason Bonsignore, Paul Mara, Martin Larocque and Vincent Lecavalier. Out of the crop, only one has actually excelled into a complete player, while two others showed flashes of brilliance. Can you guess who they are? They brought back Chris Gratton in the infamous trade-back with Bob Clarke and the Flyers. The question now is, who are the Bolts going to build around? Roman Hamrlik looked like a great idea, but he got stolen by Glen Sather last year. Wendel Clark is bright, but he’s already on the trading block.
GOALTENDING Read more»
The Tampa Bay Lighting have been going through some major changes very early in the season, most notably the firing of general manager Phil Esposito and director of scouting and player development Tony Esposito. The Espositos are known to be friends with Larry Gordon, owner of the International Hockey League’s Cleveland Lumberjacks. Over the off season, the brothers were instrumental in reaching a working agreement with the Cleveland Lumberjacks, and as a result will have up to 14 players with Cleveland over the next three years…
BONSIGNORE BUSTED: The most interesting news probably stems from the enigmatic Jason Bonsignore. Bonsignore, who was the fourth overall pick for Edmonton in the 1994 draft, and made his way to the Lightning in the late 1997 trade that sent Roman Hamrlik to the Oilers, was up and down with Tampa Bay last season, and started the season back in the minors with Cleveland.