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Category: Tampa-Bay-Lightning

Phil Esposito May Get More Of A Role With The Bolts

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

There were no specifics given by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, just an acknowledgment Lightning founder Phil Esposito might be in line for an expanded role with the organization. And while Vinik said the final decision will be up to new CEO Tod Leiweke, Vinik sounded as if Esposito could be an asset on the community and marketing side of the organization.

“We want him involved with this team,” Vinik said this week. “We want him out in the community. We want him involved with us. He’s a great ideas person.”

Expanding Esposito’s role from his long-time gig as an analyst on radio broadcasts of Lightning home games, a job for which he has said he never has signed a contract, makes sense for an organization ready to embrace its past and make a better effort to market the team both in the St. Pete Times Forum and Tampa Bay area.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: phil+esposito

Center Of Attention

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

With training camp still beyond the horizon and loads of free agents still twisting in the wind there’s always time to start thinking about players that might capture our imaginations come training camp and beyond, those players that may step to the fore or wilt under the pressure of our watchful eye. And so it is that we take a look at the top players by position that we’ll be paying particular attention come the start of the 2010-2011 season.

Down the middle we’ll be curious about how a group of veteran pivots respond to some tough times, and what a couple of kids do after jumping into the spotlight last season.

Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning
The past few years haven’t been kind to the former No. 1 overall draft pick and the face of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Whether it was shoulder and wrist injuries or rumors of being dealt because of his monster contract, a cloud has hovered over Lecavalier. The Lightning captain has seen his goal totals drop systematically from 52 to 24 over the past four seasons. But new GM Steve Yzerman has apparently assured Lecavalier that he has no intention of moving him and perhaps that, along with good health, will see Lecavalier bounce back to elite status. If he does the Bolts should be back in the postseason.

continue for more centers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Making The Most Of An Opportunity

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

The lasting image of Steve Downie might be from his rookie season, when he delivered a vicious check to the head of Ottawa’s Dean McAmmond. Downie, then with the Philadelphia Flyers, received a 20-game suspension for the hit, and gained a reputation as a dirty player.

Last season, however, Downie went a long way in changing his reputation from troubled to talented.

In his first full NHL season, with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Downie showed the skills that made him a first-round draft pick, as he scored 22 goals on just 116 shots. Of the 110 players who scored 20 goals last season, none accomplished it on fewer shots than Downie, and only one played less than the 14:42 per game he averaged last season.

continued with more players that fall in this group…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steve+downie

Report- Tod Leiweke Appears To Be the New CEO Of The Lightning

via Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The Tampa Bay Lightning apparently is preparing to announce that Tod Leiweke, the long-time Chief executive officer of the NFL’s Seahawks, will be the Lightning’s new CEO. Leiweke could not immediately be reached for comment and the Lightning declined comment.

More to come ...

added 2:43pm, from the Tampa Bay Lightning,

Tod Leiweke has been named Chief Executive Officer of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment and its subsidiaries, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum, Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik announced this afternoon. Leiweke will also become an Alternate Governor to the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors for the Lightning and, subject to approval by the NHL, will acquire an ownership stake in Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tod+leiweke

Wayne Fleming Discusses Cherepanov’s Death

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

Imagine watching one of your players dying. New Lightning assistant coach Wayne Fleming always will have that memory.

As coach of Avangard Omsk in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, Fleming saw one of his most gifted players, forward Aleksei Cherepanov, collapse into the arms of teammate Jaromir Jagr on the bench near the end of an Oct. 13, 2008, game against Vityav Chekov.

Team doctors tried on the bench and in the dressing room to revive Cherepanov, 19, who died that night at a local hospital of an apparent heart attack….

Is there anything you take from what happened?

From a team perspective, it was like taking a crystal vase and dropping it on the concrete floor and trying to pick up the shattered pieces. It was devastating. But it was the individual, too, that passed away. The thing that really hurts is not only do we lose a great player, we’re missing just a fantastic young man. He had a great smile on his face. He was the golden boy of the KHL.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: aleksei+cherepanov, khl, wayne+fleming

Yzerman Continues To Turn The Page

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

In the latest bit of housecleaning from the previous regime, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday fired Norfolk coach Jim Johnson and roving goaltenders coach Cap Raeder. Somewhat of a surprise as both, especially Johnson, were lauded by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman for the way they ran the recent development camp. Yzerman went as far as to say he and Johnson were “on the same page.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Non-NHL Hockey, Minor League, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Would Asham Be A Fit In Yzerman’s System?

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The team, apparently, has inquired about free agent Arron Asham. Agent Jarrett Bousquet said he has spoken to Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, though he added he hasn’t spoken to Yzerman in about a week and characterized Tampa Bay’s interest only as “mild.”

The level of the Lightning’s interest is difficult to pinpoint. The team, under Yzerman, has adopted a policy of not commenting on potential player acquisitions, and Yzerman has been busy the past week or so with the acquisition of Simon Gagne in trade from the Flyers and the signing of two assistant coaches.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: arron+asham

Tampa Bay Coaching Staff Almost Complete

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.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Florida Shows Up On The NHL Map

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…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Yzerman Plan

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.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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