Defenceman Chris Lipuma spent parts of five seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks in the 90s. He was a hard-nosed competitor who took the body well while spending most of his pro career in the IHL.
Born in Bridgeview, Illinois, Lipuma spent four years on the OHL's Kitchener Rangers where he accumulated 165 points and nearly 500 penalty minutes. In 1992 the Tampa Bay Lightning signed him as a free agent as they prepared for their inaugural NHL season. Over the next four seasons he was a regular on the IHL's Atlanta Knights and filled in for a total of 64 games in Tampa. In 1994 he supplied a physical component to the Knights when they won the Turner Cup.
In August, 1996, Lipuma was signed as a free agent by the San Jose Sharks. He played eight games for his new club that year but was chiefly a regular on the Kentucky Thoroughblades of the AHL. Seeking a bit of defensive insurance, the New Jersey Devils claimed Lipuma on waivers in March, 1997. He was never used by New Jersey and ended up playing the entire 1997-98 schedule in the IHL with the Orlando Solar Bears and the San Antonio Dragons. After three more years in the "I", Lipuma joined the ECHL's Baton Rouge Kingfish of the ECHL in 2001-02.