Hello!  Welcome to the Electric Blue Hockey Test, the latest addition to the network of blogs and authors devoted to covering the Tampa Bay Lightning.  The goal is to supplement the existing daily coverage (Lightning fans are blessed to have sensible beat reporters in Eric Erlendsson and Damian Cristodero as well as the the superb work of Jon Jordan, Mike Corcoran, the fine folks at Raw Charge and the brain-trust over at BoltProspects) by providing player, team and organizational analysis, preseason and off-season projections and other commentary.  Content will appear frequently but not necessarily daily as this is, at present, a one-man show.

Now for a proper introduction.  My name is Mike Gallimore (Twitter: @mikegallimore).  A Tampa native and lifelong resident (sans that stint I did up in Gainesville for college), I was 9 years old when I attended my first hockey game at Expo Hall during the Lightning’s inaugural season.  Raised on a steady sports diet of baseball and football, I found myself fascinated.

Within a few years I was playing organized hockey exclusively and attending as many Lightning games as my dad would get tickets for.  Most nights I had to be content with watching them on television or, when it was a weeknight and the game was on past my bedtime or was not televised, listening to radio broadcasts.  A decade and a half later, not much has changed; I rarely miss a game and when I do, there’s a damned good reason why.

Although I have done most of my opining on the web at several Lightning message boards through the years, several years ago I began toying with the idea of starting my own blog.  For various reasons, near-apathy under OK Hockey regime and my job topping the list, I never followed through.  I did manage several articles (here, here and here) at RawCharge when I had some spare time last summer, but it was not until several weeks ago that I committed to this foray.  I’m excited to begin writing about the sport and team I follow so passionately on a regular basis and I hope that enthusiasm carries through in my work.

Also, I hope the site name indicates few pretenses, although I suppose running with “Jeff Vinik and the Merry Pucksters” probably would have probably made that more obvious.  I could try and explain how the Electric Blue Hockey Test is an intricately conceived allusion of an allusion. Or I could just simply admit that I racked my brain for a better title, simple and catchy, to no avail and settled for something I considered at least somewhat witty.  At any rate, what I was initially getting at is that I do not see myself as anything more than a motivated fan, an amateur writer wanting to progress.  Sure, I have known people in the Lightning’s hockey ops for years but that hardly makes me unique and certainly not an “insider”.

Finally, please check back Sunday as I will be rolling out the debut article for the site, the first of four in a series previewing the Lightning’s long-awaited return to the playoffs.

Again, welcome to the Electric Blue Hockey Test.  Hope you come round again.  Go Bolts!

Written by Michael Gallimore

Michael was born, raised and still lives in the Tampa area. His coverage of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL and hockey in general appears at Bolt Statistics (which he founded) and Bolt Prospects (as a staff writer). His analysis and opinions have also been featured at Raw Charge and as part of a “Blogger Roundtable” on the Lightning’s official site.

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