Tampa Bay Lightning Team Jersey History

In 1992, the Tampa Bay Lightning came bolting in to the NHL. Led by former great Phil Esposito and his brother Tony, hockey would have a home in the sun drenched south east. In early October, fans crammed into the tiny 11,000 seat Expo Hall to get their first taste of hockey in Tampa. And to create a bit of a stir the Lightning put Manon Rhéaume in between the pipes for 2 preseason games allowing her to become the first woman to play in an NHL game.

Being the lighting capitol of America, Tampa Bay draped themselves in the stormy colours of black, blue and silver. The home jerseys were mainly black with a white neck yoke and a white tail stripe with a thick blue stripe beneath it. The sleeves were all black to the elbow then went to a thick white stripe and then a thin blue stripe to the cuff. The player name and number were in block form in blue and silver on the home jersey and black and blue on the away jersey. The away jersey mirrors the home but with the black turning to white and vice versa. The logo was a circle with a lightning bolt going through it with “Tampa Bay” in a script font at the top and “Lightning” on the bottom right of the bolt. They put thin stripes underneath the armpits and were known as victory stripes, but they would wait over a decade for those stripes to prove their worth.

A year later the names and numbers would become italicized. In 1995 the names and numbers would change again, the player name would arc down and the numbers had a painted look to them.

From ’96 through to ’99 the Lightning would wear a jersey that was almost an optical illusion. The jersey was blue on the chest with black and silver “sleet” stripes, going down to a black tail stripe with a cresting wave shape to it. The sleeves were all black with yellow and white bolts of lightning running from the shoulder down, with a silver neck yoke. The victory stripes would remain in their current position.


In 2001, fans would complain that they could not read the numbers on the jerseys because of the font; they were changed to the block font most of the league uses. 2007 brings the Reebok Edge uniform in to play and the Lightning changing things up a little. The home jersey would become all black with no tail stripe but the blue and white would stay on the sleeves. The logo would change as well, getting rid of the word “Lightning” on the bottom right of the logo and just “Tampa Bay” at the top. The “Bolt” would change making it more menacing looking and adding a drop shadow in black and blue on the home’s and away’s.


A year later a third jersey was put in to rotation, being mostly blue with black, white and silver running from the cuff to the elbow. The logo was moved to the shoulder and replaced the word “BOLTS” running from right shoulder to left hip in white. A tail stripe was added in silver, white and black to the bottom, and on the black part of the tail stripe “Tampa Bay” is written.