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From then until now

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2003

When the Lightning last made the playoffs in the spring of 1996:

* The team played at the ThunderDome in St. Petersburg.

* The team was owned by a mysterious Japanese company.

* Wayne Gretzky still played.

* Hartford and Winnipeg had NHL teams.

* Major-league baseball had yet to debut in Tampa Bay.

* South Florida hadn't launched its football program.

* Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Joe Dimaggio and Frank Sinatra were alive.

* Mario Lemeiux hadn't retired, taken over ownership of the Penguins or returned to play.

* Dale Earnhardt had yet to win the Daytona 500.

* Roger Maris held baseball's single-season home run record at 61.

* Jon Gruden was offensive coordinator of the Eagles.

* The Yankees hadn't won the World Series since 1978.

* No one had heard of Monica Lewinsky.

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