Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
Feaster would not confirm the various two-month-old reports that Barry Melrose will be installed as the Lightning’s new bench boss, but did admit the new coach will be hired by the new ownership group.
“It’s not my search. I think that the owners have some real ideas in where they want to go,” said Feaster, who jokingly added, “one of the reasons I showed up [at the coach’s dinner last night] was to see who sits down, so I can find out who is my new coach.”
The Philadelphia Flyers announced Wednesday that they have traded the rights to forward Vaclav Prospal to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
“Vinny really didn’t express much of an interest in coming back and playing for us next season,” said General Manager Holmgren in making the announcement. “His heart is elsewhere.”
from Lightning Strikes,
In what apparently was a unanimous vote by the NHL’s board of governors, Oren Koules’ OK Hockey was approved as new owner of the Lightning.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
And lastly - and this should excite you if you are a Lightning fan - I’ve heard from those in the know that Koules expects to be very active in the free agent market once July 1 hits. This has been speculated and general manager Jay Feaster has hinted at it, but I have been told directly that the team will be at the forefront of the free agent market, at least in terms of who they want to seek (no guarantee they will actually gain the services of those players on their hit list, but at least they are going to be aggressive).
more on the Bolts…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
Walz, the former Wild center who retired from the National Hockey League as a player in December, has been asked if he’s interested in becoming an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The conversation took place three weeks ago and is expected to continue this week if the Lightning’s ownership change is approved, as expected, Wednesday by the Board of Governors.
After Hollywood producer Oren Koules and former NHLer Len Barrie get the keys to the Lightning, former Los Angeles Kings coach and current ESPN analyst Barry Melrose is expected to be announced as head coach….
According to a source, the Lightning is also interested in Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet and San Jose Sharks scout and former goalie Cap Raeder to round out Melrose’s staff.
From Damian Cristodero at the St. Petersburg Times,
He appreciated the on-ice structure Tortorella brought in seven seasons as Lightning coach and said, “Definitely he will have success. I don’t think he’ll have a tough time finding another job.”
Still, the superstar center said, there were times last season that Tortorella’s finger-to-chest style was difficult for some younger players to handle.
“He was very tough on young players,” Lecavalier said. “His emotions sometimes made it difficult. I’m not saying that in a bad way. That’s the type of coach he is. He is very aggressive, very emotional and very into the game.”
From Brian Compton at NHL.com,
“Hockey guys are really involved in the community,” Lecavalier said. “Before starting a foundation, I wanted to be established as an NHL player. After the (work stoppage), I said I’m starting a foundation. It wasn’t that easy. There’s a lot of work to do that I had no idea about it. I said ‘I’m starting tomorrow,’ but that’s not how it works. You have to choose what the project is going to be and go and see different people.”
Lecavalier, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery after posting 92 points during the 2007-08 season, was very much a part of the process of this new [Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center] from the beginning. He’ll even get to voice his opinion, although he said he will leave the final decisions to the experts.
From Adam Proteau at The Hockey News:
I think comedian George Carlin is one of the great minds of our time. And one of my favorite bits of his centers around the needless softening/wimpification of language. That was on display again Tuesday, when the Tampa Bay Lightning sent out an e-mail announcing head coach (and preferred target of this space) John Tortorella “will not return” to the team.
I suppose it was just too hurtful to say the guy was dismissed. Perhaps the next franchise that fires a coach can do the Bolts one better and issue a press release that reads, “Coach X will be coaching the team next season (in spirit only).”
It’s funny that Proteau mentions this. When we first got the press release about the Tortorella story, it did make me pause for a moment.
From the Globe & Mail:
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced Tuesday that John Tortorella will not return next season as the team’s head coach.
Tortorella has one season remaining on his contract.
More at the Tampa Bay Lightning website.
From the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Alexandre Picard and signed defenseman Kevin Quick, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced. Picard, acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on February 25, signed a multi-year, one-way deal, while Quick received a multi-year, two-way contract.
“Picard played very well for us following his acquisition last season and both ownership groups established re-signing him as a priority this off-season,” Feaster said.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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