Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Erik Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
First-year Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher is close to rounding out his staff after naming two assistant coaches on Tuesday.
The Lightning hired Boucher’s two assistants with Hamilton of the American Hockey League last season, Daniel Lacroix and Martin Raymond. The trio led the Bulldogs to the Western Conference final in the AHL playoffs.
Boucher, who is leaving Thursday for a three-week family vacation, is expected to add one more coach to his staff.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Remember when both Florida teams were gong shows? Well, with Steve Yzerman in Tampa and Dale Tallon taking over as general manager in Florida, those days are gone.
Now, add into the recipe that there is no state tax in Florida, travel in the Eastern Conference is vastly superior to the West, and of course, the family is always happy to relocate to the kind of neighborhood where a millionaire in Florida might live, and you get quotes like this one from Simon Gagne:
“Tampa Bay was a team I was more than willing to waive my no-trade for,” Gagne said. “I really like the direction the team is headed in with a solid owner, Steve Yzerman as GM and coach (Guy) Boucher.”
When is the last time you heard a player say THAT about the Lightning? Give Tallon some time in Florida, and they’ll be talking that way about the Panthers as well.
Sunshine, the beach, low taxes, zero media scrutiny… It is just another example of why teams in Canada had better draft well, because landing big-name free agents is getting tougher and tougher.
more hockey topics…
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
It’s an interesting way to go about his business, though. Yzerman told the world he’ll build the Bolts through scouting and player development, then acquired four 30-plus guys. And to clear space on the salary abacus, he added a guy who will be the third-highest paid player on the team.
It might seem like a backward way to build, but it makes sense.
No, it really does.
Getting older now allows the Bolts the chance to be more competitive immediately. Nothing’s worse than a three-year building plan that calls for lots of losing, especially when fans have been forced to swallow lots of losing already.
It’s tricky and I’m not sure I agree with all of it, but there is a plan there and that’s refreshing to see. While wandering in the wasteland the past three seasons, the Bolts’ plan seemed to be drawn up on the back of a napkin with a felt-tip pen that promptly ran.
from John Boruk of CSNPhilly,
What were Gagne’s main deciding factors? Would you believe: cap space. Ironically, he didn’t want to be with a team in a similar situation the Flyers had put themselves for a couple of reasons. Primarily, he is not looking at this as a one-year rental. That may or may not be the situation in Tampa Bay, but he wanted to know that there would be plenty of cap room to sign a multi-year contract past this upcoming season.
Surprisingly, the Detroit Red Wings had expressed interest and wanted to add Gagne, but with less than $4 million in cap space, the idea of joining one of the most successful franchises in hockey didn’t seem too appealing. The same can be said for his hometown Montreal Canadiens.
Ironically, it was conversations with former Red Wing and Tampa GM Steve Yzerman sold him on the idea that he could become part of the Lightning’s rebuilding process, and Gagne feels they are a playoff team that will only get better.
via Frank Seravalli tweet,
Flyers source confirms Simon Gagne has indeed been traded to Tampa Bay. Waiting to hear on the return.
added 2:34pm, via another Seravalli tweet,
Done deal: defenseman Matt Walker and a 4th round pick come back for Simon Gagne.
added 3:00pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
After a quiet week of little action on the NHL front, teams leapt back into the fray Monday, with the Philadelphia Flyers mitigating their salary-cap woes by sending Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenceman Matt Walker and a fourth-round pick.
In the 30-year-old Gagne, the Lightning receive a proven goal-scorer that will help fast-track their rebuilding program launched under new general manager Steve Yzerman.
added 3:57pm, from Lightning.com,
“In adding Simon to the Lightning today, we acquire a very talented player that will play along side our top forwards,” said Yzerman upon making the announcement. “With his combination of speed and skill we are excited to have him with us and grateful he was willing to waive his no movement clause. This trade not only makes us a better team in the short-term, it helps create long-term flexibility for us, which all along has been one of our top priorities.”
read on including Gagne quotes…
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
In the hallway leading to the Lightning locker room at the St. Pete Times Forum, there is not one picture of the team celebrating its 2004 Stanley Cup title.
It is the same in the locker room, the players’ lounge, the weight room.
Think about that. The most memorable moment in franchise history gets zero play.
A glaring oversight, said right wing Marty St. Louis, who was part of that championship team.
“You’d like to see it,” he said, “and show the other guys what we’ve been through.”
That is the plan, said coach Guy Boucher, who wants those images where players can see them; a design makeover for those common areas he made sound like a history lesson, a tutorial and even a symbolic papering over of a culture of losing.
freom Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
The Tampa Bay Lightning hired Julien Brisebois to serve as assistant general manager to Steve Yzerman, the team announced Friday.
Brisebois, 33, emerged as the leading candidate earlier this week to fill the role of Yzerman’s right-hand man to handle contract negotiations and serve as salary cap specialist. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
Brisebois also will serve as general manager of Tampa Bay’s minor-league affiliate, Norfolk of the American Hockey League.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
The Lightning apparently has interest in acquiring Flyers left wing Simon Gagne. It’s tough to tell how serious it is because no one within the organization has said so publicly, but it would be naïve to believe otherwise.
Put another way, why wouldn’t Tampa Bay at least inquire about a proven goals and points producer who is being shopped by a team desperate to clear cap space? And to put it even ANOTHER way: Why wouldn’t general manager Steve Yzerman be salivating over the possibility of having his top two lines be (left to right) Gagne-Vinny Lecavalier-Marty St. Louis and Ryan Malone-Steven Stamkos-Steve Downie?
Acquiring Gagne, 30, who in the past three seasons in which he was healthy scored 47, 41 and 34 goals, would make the Lightning automatic playoff contenders. It would spike ticket sales. It would make Tampa Bay relevant again in a market where it has been the butt of jokes the past two years. And, besides, what’s the harm in a little short-term gain while Yzerman decides what direction to take the team in the future?
added 7:07am, from Dave Fuller of the Toronto Sun,
Still one of the most dangerous left wingers in the NHL — when healthy — Gagne, 30, has only a year left on his deal and could become an unrestricted free agent next July 1.
The Leafs, New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings are thought to have the most interest in the explosive winger, though with a no-trade clause in his contract, Gagne retains the right to pick-and-choose. Unless the Flyers waive him, which seems unlikely.
So, what about Gagne joining the Leafs? Is general manager Brian Burke interested?
Well, he didn’t completely dismiss the notion when contacted Wednesday by e-mail.
“Not at this time,’ was his intriguing, though noncommittal response when asked about Gagne.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Last weekend Free Press sports writer Helene St. James caught up with Yzerman at the NHL entry draft in Los Angeles. Afterward both were on the same flight back to Detroit, which is how she discovered Yzerman, too, thinks “Blades of Glory” is hilarious. Here’s their chat.
Q: Speaking of Detroit, everybody loves a storybook ending. Holland and his management team are now secured through 2015-16, but if he doesn’t stay on beyond that, is there a scenario where you’d return to the Red Wings?
A: You never know, in five years, they may not want me (laughs). No, I come to Tampa Bay with the idea of building something really, really good. I can’t come into this thinking, ‘Eh, I’m biding my time till I go back to Detroit.’ I made a decision to leave because I didn’t feel that it was the right thing for anybody just to sit and wait and see what if?
Who knows what the future holds, but I come down to Tampa Bay with the idea that I’m going to do a good job here, this franchise is going to turn around and we’re going to be successful, and I’m going to enjoy the job. The Red Wings—I don’t even think that far ahead.
Brian Burke mentioned earlier today that the Tomas Kaberle talks have been shutdown for the long USA Holiday weekend.
Plus, I heard Darren Dreger on 640am in Toronto earlier today and he said the whispers continue of Tampa being interested in Kaberle and the name Ryan Malone has been brought up.
Just something to think about over the weekend.
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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