© 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.