As the title says, even bigger news than Halpern getting traded (which I will get to in the next post), is that the NHL's Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Lightning to Jeffrey Vinik.


His welcome letter to the fans:

Dear Lightning Fans,

As the new owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, I would like to express my appreciation to the entire community for welcoming me as caretaker of your hockey team and the St. Pete Times Forum. I pledge to you that every one of us at the Lightning will work our hardest to create a world-class organization, both on and off the ice. My goal is to return to the days when the entire Tampa Bay area proudly cheered together for its hockey team.

I know that the Lightning, under our ownership, will be judged on its actions, not just on its words. Accordingly, our organization will do its utmost to build a winning team on the ice, make your fan experience even more exciting at the St. Pete Times Forum and increase the presence of the Lightning and The Lightning Foundation across the Tampa Bay community.

I look forward to meeting and personally thanking each of you for your continued support. I know that together we can bring back the winning spirit to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Thank f-cking god. Now as I've said previously when we were just waiting on the BOG's approval, this is a step in the right direction for the Lightning. He won't be able to fix all the problems (and there is many) with the team right away, but if he is able to hire the right people to run the team, our team should be in good hands. Time will tell if this happens, but today I have more confidence in the longevity of the team in Tampa than I had yesterday.

(h/t to James O'Brien at ProHockeyTalk)