Today, June 11th, marks Tampa Bay Lightning and Norfolk Admirals defenseman Keith Aulie’s 23rd birthday.
Aulie, a Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, spent much of his time with the AHL Toronto Marlies before a 2012 Trade Deadline deal sent him to the Lightning in exchange for Lightning prospect Carter Ashton. In 19 games played with the Lightning after the trade Aulie had one point and was a minus-5 with 13 penalty minutes. (Source: lightning.nhl.com) He also wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves when needed, something I’m sure most Lightning fans appreciate!
Aulie, after the Lightning’s season ended in early April, was sent to AHL Norfolk to gain experience and help out with their postseason run. He did that, tallying one goal, six points and a plus-7 rating in 18 playoff games with Norfolk. In Game 4 of the Calder Cup finals Saturday afternoon he collected one assist in Norfolk’s 6-1 win over his former team, the Marlies, helping to capture the Admirals’ first Calder Cup. (Source: NorfolkAdmirals.com)
It’s safe to say the Calder Cup playoff experience most likely helped Aulie in the long run. As the Admirals return to Norfolk today, cup in tow, I know he probably has what he wanted most for his birthday. Regardless, we would still like to say “Happy Birthday” and here’s to many more in a Lightning uniform!