The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday announced the roster for their 2021 Training Camp, which opened this morning at Amalie Arena. Among the 60-man roster are five players who have seen playing time with the Solar Bears while assigned by the Lightning organization.
F – Otto Somppi: 24 points (12g-12a) in 21 games with Orlando during the 2018-19 season. Re-signed by the Lightning to a one-year two-way contract on July 27. Originally drafted by the Lightning in the seventh round (206th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft.
F – Jimmy Huntington: 12 points (5g-7a) in 17 total games with Orlando from 2019-21. Huntington enters the 2021-22 season in the final year of his entry-level deal signed as an undrafted free agent on March 1, 2019.
F – Alexey Lipanov: 20 points (10g-10a) in 41 career games with Orlando from 2018-20. Lipanov enters the 2021-22 season in the final year of his entry-level deal signed on September 28, 2017. Originally drafted in the third round (76th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft.
D – Alex Green: Two points (1g-1a) in five games with Orlando during the 2020-21 season. Enters the final year of a two-year entry-level contract signed on September 9, 2020. Originally drafted in the fourth round (121st overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft.
D – Dmitry Semykin: 19 games played with Orlando during the 2020-21 season. Enters the second season of his three-year entry-level contract signed on May 7, 2020. Originally drafted in the third round (90th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft.
2021-22 Schedule at-a-glance:
With the rollout of last week’s schedule updates, and single-game tickets going on sale earlier this morning, let’s take a look at the 2021-22 schedule as it stands today and break it all down.
Before we dive into the schedule, here’s a reminder to subscribe to our downloadable calendar to always stay up to date on all upcoming games!
Most frequent opponent: Florida Everblades - this is probably the least surprising, as the Solar Bears and Everblades will meet up total 15 times this season, with seven of those meetings taking place in Orlando on the AdventHealth Rink at Amway Center ice. Thankfully, this is a significant drop-off of the 27 head-to-head encounters during the 2020-21 season.
Longest homestand: Five games - Orlando actually has two separate five-game stretches at home this season, both of which happen to come in the second half of the schedule; Feb. 12-19 and April 2-12.
Longest road trip: Six games - mid-December will be taxing on the Solar Bears, with a season-high six-game road trip that includes a three-game weekend against Mountain Division foes the Allen Americans and Tulsa Oilers. Orlando split a pair of games against the Americans at the Allen Event Center in 2017-18, and will be making its first-ever visit to the BOK Center in Tulsa.
As announced earlier this month, Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company will serve as an official watch party location for every Solar Bears home and road game this season, so be sure to check out one of our newest partners and enjoy some FloHockey coverage of the Solar Bears!
Busiest stretch: Five games in six days - It’s going to be a grueling March for the Solar Bears, when the team opens the month with five games in six days, including two road games apiece against Jacksonville and South Carolina.
Longest break: Eight days - After playing the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on the road on New Year’s Day, the Solar Bears will go eight days without games before retiring to action on Monday, January 10 at home against the South Carolina Stingrays. Don’t worry through, as the coaching staff is sure to put the team through its paces in practices.
Farthest distance traveled: 1,383 miles - That’s the distance between Orlando and Portland, Maine, where the Solar Bears travel in late January to face the Maine Mariners in a three-in-three set, and the first time Orlando will visit the Mariners since the 2018-19 season. The Mariners also swing through Orlando in mid-November for their first visit to the City Beautiful.
Thirsty Thursdays: The Solar Bears are currently slated to have a season-high eight home games on Thursday nights, which means plenty of opportunities for you and your friends to enjoy some tasty suds and take advantage of $5 draft beer specials on those game nights!
Welcome back: About a dozen ECHL clubs opted out of the 2020-21 campaign, including the Atlanta Gladiators and Norfolk Admirals. Both teams will sport new affiliations heading into the upcoming season, with Atlanta aligning with the Ottawa Senators and Norfolk linking up with the Carolina Hurricanes.
More signings to come:
As of this afternoon, the Solar Bears have 13 players (nine forwards, four defensemen) announced as under contract for the upcoming season. More will be announced in the coming days as the Solar Bears near the start of training camp in mid-October.
In addition to players on ECHL contracts, the Solar Bears also expect to receive players through the Tampa Bay Lightning pipeline on NHL and AHL contracts.
Orlando’s roster is also expected to be bolstered by the addition of players provided through the San Jose Sharks development pipeline, which has supplied players to the Solar Bears dating back to the 2018-19 season.