TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Lightning franchise founder Phil Esposito was officially inducted into the team's inaugural Hall of Fame after being elected back in February.
He was joined by former Lightning players Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, both of which were automatic inductees as they are the team's only two players to have their jersey numbers retired.
Tampa Bay fans were able to see Esposito, Lecavalier and St. Louis be inducted into the Lightning Hall of Fame Friday on the ice at Amalie Arena.
Along with executive Henry Paul, Esposito founded the Lightning franchise. The team began playing in 1992 at Expo Hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Esposito served as Tampa Bay's general manager for the organization's first seven seasons and then went on to join the Bolts radio team as a color commentator during the 1999-00 season, which he still does currently.
In 2011, the Lightning honored Esposito with a bronze statue, which fans can see in front of the grand entry on Ford Thunder Alley at the arena.
To learn more about the Lightning's inaugural Hall of Fame, click here.