Stamkos delivers off the ice

click to enlarge Chris and Shelly Girsch and their three boys, Tyler, Colin, and Nicholas, get the surprise of their lifetime from Steven Stamkos and Thunderbug - Nicole Abbett
Nicole Abbett
Chris and Shelly Girsch and their three boys, Tyler, Colin, and Nicholas, get the surprise of their lifetime from Steven Stamkos and Thunderbug

click to enlarge Chris and Shelly Girsch and their three boys, Tyler, Colin, and Nicholas, get the surprise of their lifetime from Steven Stamkos and Thunderbug - Nicole Abbett
Nicole Abbett
Chris and Shelly Girsch and their three boys, Tyler, Colin, and Nicholas, get the surprise of their lifetime from Steven Stamkos and Thunderbug
  • Nicole Abbett
  • Chris and Shelly Girsch and their three boys, Tyler, Colin, and Nicholas, get the surprise of their lifetime from Steven Stamkos and Thunderbug.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos gave the Girsch family a surprise of a lifetime by hand delivering them their season tickets.

click to enlarge Tyler and Colin watch in admiration as Stamkos signs Nicholas' hockey stick - Nicole Abbett
Nicole Abbett
Tyler and Colin watch in admiration as Stamkos signs Nicholas' hockey stick
  • Nicole Abbett
  • Tyler and Colin watch in admiration as Stamkos signs Nicholas' hockey stick

Shortly after Tyler, 10, Colin, 8, and Nicholas, 5, arrived home from school last Monday, the doorbell rang and they were greeted by none other than the Tampa Bay Lightning's all-star forward Steven Stamkos. They looked at Stamkos in awe and amazement for a few seconds before realizing what was happening and inviting him in. The three boys talked hockey, had their sticks autographed, and then invited Stamkos up to their synthetic hockey rink where Thunderbug made his debut as a goalie. The family are fourth-year season ticket holders.

click to enlarge The Girsch boys invited Stamkos and Thunderbug to an exhibition game at their synthetic hockey rink - Nicole Abbett
Nicole Abbett
The Girsch boys invited Stamkos and Thunderbug to an exhibition game at their synthetic hockey rink
  • Nicole Abbett
  • The Girsch boys invited Stamkos and Thunderbug to an exhibition game at their synthetic hockey rink.

Stamkos, the third youngest to score 50 goals in one season, was so impressed with the boys' performances, he said that it wouldn't be long before they were playing on the ice with him.

Stamkos was a first draft pick in 2008 for the Lightning and was just in contingence with right winger Martin St. Louis to be the next team captain. They both rallied for the other team member to wear the "C" on the front of their jersey, but in the end, St. Louis was chosen as the Lightning's next team captain. The Lightning have been without a captain since June when Vinny Lecavalier, captain since 2008, was bought out of his contract and was picked up by the Philadelphia Flyers after becoming a free agent. There's no doubt that St. Louis will pass the captain torch to Stamkos in the foreseeable future.

In addition to being the league's leading goal scorer in 2010 as well as last season in 2012, Stamkos is a 2-time Maurice Richard Trophy winner, a one-time NHL Second Team All-Star and has been named to two NHL All-Star Games.

All of the Bolts fans, especially the Girsch's, can't wait to see what Stamkos and the Bolts will bring to the ice this season when the puck drops at the home opener this Thursday, Oct. 10, against the Florida Panthers.

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