Since being claimed by Tampa Bay off waivers January 21, Nate Thompson has made an immediate impact with his new team.

Already Thompson has been playing approximately 13 minutes every night and is really giving the Lightning a boost with his performance from the faceoff circle.

Thompson is 2nd on the Lightning in faceoff percentage with 73.5 % and has won 36 of 49 faceoffs since parting with the Islanders.

His play has warranted new linemates recently; he's now playing with Ryan Malone and Jeff Halpern...not too shabby.

As Malone told me, Thompson acclimated easily and "fit in with us right away."

"He's a great guy," Malone said. "We were lucky to grab him."

Thompson was swarmed b the NY media contingent today to see how he was doing in a much sunnier and warmer locale, and he seems to be enjoying a fresh start and good opportunity.

"It's been great. It's been a really easy transition so far. It's a great group of guys, they've been very welcoming and it's been a lot of fun."

That said, Thompson said it was tough to part with his friends and teammates in New York

"It was an emotional 24 hours," Thompson said about the waiver waiting period. "You just have to deal with the anxiety of not knowing where you're going. It's tough on anybody, but the toughest part was leaving the guys over there. I have a lot of good friends over there, but on the other hand it will be fun tonight playing against them."

Chirping tonight on the ice?

"I'm sure I will. It'll be hard to keep a straight face with some of the guys, but it'll be fun. I'm looking forward to it."

*** Reminder, live chat here at 4 p.m. today so stop on by with all your Isles questions!


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