Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eduardo Encina of the St. Petersburg Times,
Hockey players have a tough time giving up on helmets, shin guards and other equipment, but there’s something about the feel and comfort of worn shoulder pads that makes them special.
“I’ve had mine since I was 16,” said center Brad Richards, 27. “They’re going to stay with me. They’re not going anywhere. I don’t know if it’s weird, but I can change skates 100 times a year, gloves, all that stuff, but my shoulder pads, if I didn’t have those, I’d be lost forever.”
Much like someone having a worn-in baseball glove or a favorite pair of sneakers, some hockey players don’t want to let go of their favorite equipment, no matter how ratty it becomes.
Some players are the same way with other equipment.
from Lightning Strikes,
Lightning star Vinny Lecavalier said he knows all about the rumor that came out of a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast that said he was tired of playing in a small market and would asked to be traded to perhaps New York, Los Angeles or, surprise, his hometown of Montreal.
Lecavalier said he was called by his agent, who asked Lecavalier if he wanted him to “do something about’’ the story. But Lecavalier said he would rather the rumor die of its own weight. Lecavalier reiterated he is not looking to be anywhere else.
“There was a time when I thought the grass was greener somewhere else,’’ Lecavalier has said of his trade request in 2001 amidst much rancor with coach John Tortorella that almost got him moved the the Maple Leafs, “but it’s not.’‘
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
A new name surfaced among the NHL players available before the trading deadline next week — Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brad Richards.
According to a league source, Lightning general manager Jay Feaster was the busiest among his fellow GMs after they arrived here for their annual winter meetings on Sunday night. Feaster was known to be shopping a list of players but until Sunday night when he started shopping him around, Richards was not known to be on it.
from Lightning Strikes,
Here is coach John Tortorella after the game:
“As I’ve always said, everybody always talks about the three guys,’’ he said of Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Dan Boyle. “But there is no one more important to our team than Danny Boyle. He is our transition key.’‘
Perhaps Boyle, who wants to make the Tampa Bay area, perhaps even St. Petersburg, his long-term home, takes a little less to stay, though he already did that in his current contract of three-years, $10-million. Much could depend on what the Lightning wants to be. Does it want to compete next season under would-be owner Oren Koules, or does it want to take some steps back now to take more forward later. The answer to that riddle may be the key to getting a new contract done.
from Bolts Report,
But the deal is anything but done at this point. The financing is not secured, but it doesn’t really have to be at this point, it would just give everybody a greater comfort level….
And don’t think that the timing of this isn’t important, either. The trade deadline is less than two weeks away and there are plenty of things on the Lightning’s table and you would have to think Koules wants to be involved as a decision maker in that process….
What does the team do with the Big Three? Word is that those guys, along with Boyle, are a big reason why he wants to buy this team. So unless Jay Feaster or John Tortorella can convince - assuming they want to - of the long-term benefits of breaking up the Big Three, nobody is going anywhere.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN and LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, February 13, 2008 –
Palace Sports & Entertainment and OK Hockey LLC, an entity controlled by Oren Koules, announced today that they have entered into a definitive purchase agreement whereby OK Hockey LLC would acquire the Tampa Bay Lightning, the leasehold rights to the St. Pete Times Forum and approximately 5.5 acres of land in Tampa’s Channelside District from Palace Sports & Entertainment. Completion of the transaction, which is expected to close within the next 105 days, is contingent on customary closing conditions and final approval from the National Hockey League.
added 6:28pm, Lightning Strikes asks the key question…
The next question will be who makes the final calls as the trade deadline approaches.
from Lightning Strikes,
But it was difficult to ignore Prospal’s outburst, though Torts did his best.
“I’m not here to be the happy man and make everybody happy,’’ he said. “I’m here to make calls as far as the game is concerned.’‘
And this after Torts was asked if he sensed some relief in Prospal:
“I’m sure there was quite a bit of relief and a few other things, too. That’s life. He played really well. Athletes that are upset, they contribute and help the team win, coaches are happy. This isn’t a touchy-feely thing here or love fest. This is a game of hockey and we’re fighting for our life.’‘
what did Prospal say, well read on...
from the St. Petersburg Times,
So rather than proximity to the playoffs determining whether Tampa Bay will be a buyer or seller, Campbell spoke generally of “reconfiguring your team to give it the best chance to win as soon as possible.”
And while he said, “There is no plan today to give up on the season” and “we could be buyers,” he acknowledged this scenario:
“So you sit back and say, ‘We could make the playoffs because of the maturity of our team, but maybe we’re not ready to go to the Eastern Conference or Stanley Cup finals.’ So you know what? Maybe we take a half-step back for this year, but it makes us that much stronger for next year.”
Players on a team fighting for their playoff lives said they can’t worry about what is happening in the front offices.
more on Tampa Bay…
from the Buffalo News,
Kevin Quick merely needed to keep his head on straight and enjoy the ride, which wasn’t asking too much. He had been selected in the third round of the NHL draft. He had a scholarship to the University of Michigan. He was a freshman getting a regular shift on the second-ranked hockey team in the nation. Now?
The 19-year-old is home in Tonawanda, trying to put his career back together after getting kicked off the Michigan team for what coach Red Berenson called “a total violation of our team trust and rules.” Sources said the defenseman stole a credit card, used it as a personal piggy bank and spent thousands of dollars….
Tampa Bay selected Quick with the 78th pick overall in the 2006 draft. He signed a professional tryout contract with the Lightning’s AHL affiliate in Norfolk on Saturday. He’ll start his professional career at a fraction of what he could have pocketed in a couple years with far more experience and leverage.
from Lightning Strikes,
The bank, Societe Generale, with main offices in Paris, that was going to lend a group led by Hollywood producer Oren Koules up to $110-million to help with his purchase of the Lightning from Palace Sports & Entertainment has closed its sports lending business, a story in Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal said.
The move has not killed the deal, Lightning officials said, but Koules must now look for alternative forms of financing, something not easy given the nationwide credit crunch. Expect Koules to need three to four weeks at least to secure alternative financing.
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 email@example.com