Tampa Mayor Hedges Bet On Bolts Stanley Cup 'Three-Peat' Championship

As the Tampa Bay Lightning enter the final round of games in their bid to become Stanley Cup champions three years in a row, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor is hedging her bets by putting together an array of Tampa specialties for Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock if the Lightning lose the championship to the Colorado Avalanche.

"I have no doubts our boys are going for a three-peat," Castor said. "But to prove it, I've made a little bit of a bet with the mayor of Denver, Mayor Hancock. The losing mayor is going to send some goodies from their city to the other one."

Richard Gonzmart, fourth-generation owner of the Columbia Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Florida, will prepare some of the restaurant's signature dishes for the Denver mayor including the Columbia's famous 1905 Salad, Paella a la Valenciana, homemade flan and Cuban bread baked fresh by La Segunda Central bakery in Ybor City. Florida.

The mayor then headed to J.C. Newman Cigar Co., 2701 N 16th St., where third-generation cigar makers Bobby, Eric and Drew Newman presented a box of hand-rolled cigars made at the cigar factory in Ybor City to the mayor as part of the bet between the mayors of the two cities.

To sweeten the pot, Castor made one last stop at La Segunda Central bakery, 4015 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, where owner Tony More had a box of guava pastries prepared for the mayor.

How strongly do we BELIEVE that the Tampa Bay Lightning will win their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final, starting with tonight's first game against the Colorado Avalanche?

In the meantime, Mushu the Chinese water dragon at ZooTampa at Lowry Park has donned his "game face" in anticipation of the playoff games.

ZooTampa has also made a "friendly, conservation-themed wager with our friend at Denver Zoo," announced ZooTampa. If the Bolts win, Denver Zoo will have the opportunity to spotlight ZooTampa's conservation efforts with the Florida manatees including the zoo's nearly three decades of efforts to rescue, nurse critically injured, sick and orphaned manatees back to health and then return them to their native waters.

If Colorado wins, ZooTampa will highlight Denver Zoo's conservation efforts with Boreal toads, a Colorado-listed endangered species.

At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Nick the bottlenose dolphin is preparing to predict the winner of the Stanley Cup by practicing spinning a Tampa Bay Lightning disc on his nose. Over the years, "Nick's Picks" for the winner of the Super Bowl, Stanley Cub, Bowl games and NBA Finals has been eerily accurate.

At the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, 3607 N Armenia Ave., Tampa, Puddin', a 5-month-old terrier available for adoption, is hoping to attract the attention of Lightning scouts with his skills at retrieving a puck. Actually, it's a tennis ball, but Puddin' doesn't know the different.