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Category: Tampa-Bay-Lightning

Yzerman Doing It The Right Way

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The sunshine and the sea make Tampa a place any free agent would consider. But what of the player who wants to win a Cup?

Yzerman — and his Detroit pedigree — can change all of that in Tampa.

“If we do a good job, treat people properly, we’ll be able to attract good players when we show we’re a good organization. Just because it’s me (in the GM chair)? No,” he said.

Nobody goes to Detroit, because Holland is the GM. Or Pittsburgh for Ray Shero.

They go there because those men have built organizations that can be trusted. Trusted to compete, honour their word, and treat people right.

It will take a while, but assuming Vinik is who Yzerman believes him to be, they’ll be saying those same things about the Tampa Bay Lightning one day.

Likely sooner than you think.

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

Caps are Still the Caps, Which is Bad News for Everyone Else

Of all five Southeast Division clubs, the Washington Capitals of 2010-11 will look the most like themselves from a year ago, having added only a spattering of depth to the lineup that captured the President’s Trophy last season. Alas, as the reigning division champ and still the clear-cut class of the division, if it ain’t broke, well, you know… But a first-round playoff exit thanks to Jaroslav Halak and the Montreal Canadiens left an awful taste in the mouths of Bruce Boudreau’s squad, meaning improvements are in order this year for sure. (Or else?)

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin, alex+semin, braden+holtby, brendan+morrison, brian+fahey, brian+willsie, brooks+laich, bruce+boudreau, calder+cup, calder+trophy, d.j.+king, eric+belanger, eric+fehr, george+mcphee, hershey+bears, jaroslav+halak, jeff+schultz, joe+corvo, john+carlson, jose+theodore, karl+alzner, kyle+greentree, marcus+johansson, mathieu+perreault, michael+neuvirth, mike+green, mike+knuble, milan+jurcian, nhl+previews, nicklas+backstrom, scott+walker, semyon+varlamov, shaone+morrison, southeast+division, stefan+della+rovere, tomas+fleischmann

Turnaround in Tampa Starts at the Top

Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.

Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.

But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.

 

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Yzerman Has Positive Comments When It Comes To Winnipeg And The NHL

from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,

Count Steve Yzerman among those who believes the NHL would be wise to return to Winnipeg somewhere down the line.

The new general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning spoke glowingly of the possibility on Monday, just a few days before his club hosts the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in an NHL pre-season game at the MTS Centre Wednesday night.

“I think the current CBA is favourable to small-market teams and a city like Winnipeg, I’m quite confident they could fill their building,” Yzerman said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know the details of it all, but I think Winnipeg could be a good option for the NHL to put a team into.”

continued

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

Gaining Respect In Tampa

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

“The past two or three years, there’s been so many negative headlines about our team. I think that’s in the past now,” (Martin) St. Louis told ESPN.com. “It’s nice to be a Tampa Bay Lightning again. That means a lot.”

The reason for that optimism seemed perpetually on the move. Rookie GM Steve Yzerman chatted quietly with new owner Jeff Vinik and his management staff while watching players go through their first on-ice drills of training camp.

He met with the media.

He chatted with players and coaches.

“What Steve brings is a lot of respect back to the franchise,” St. Louis said.

read on

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

Facing a Decade Without the Playoffs, Florida’s Rebuild Goes On and On

Futility in Sunrise has persisted for far too long, with the Florida Panthers on the brink of a dubious record after nine consecutive non-playoff seasons. Incoming general manager Dale Tallon has moved quickly in putting his stamp on the team with several transactions since taking over, but nothing to this point appears bold enough to turn his club from last season’s Southeast Division cellar dwellers into a postseason participant.

Sadly, more patience may be in order for long-suffering Panthers fans.

Even so, all is not lost for the NHL’s southernmost franchise, with several key pieces already in place for the future (and others right around the corner) and it isn’t as though the current roster is without talent as is. Still, a couple of major stumbling points remain for the Panthers. The 24 games they will play versus fellow Southeast clubs, three of whom look to be vastly improved and the fourth being the stalwart Washington Capitals, certainly won’t help and the expiring contracts for defenseman Bryan McCabe and goaltender Tomas Vokoun will have to be dealt with (and quite possibly dealt altogether), without either situation becoming a distraction.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: andrew+peters, bryan+allen, bryan+mccabe, chris+higgins, dale+tallon, david+booth, dennis+wideman, dmitry+kulikov, erik+gudbranson, gregory+campbell, jacob+markstrom, jason+garrison, kamil+kreps, keith+ballard, marty+reasoner, michael+grabner, michael+repik, nathan+horton, nathan+paetsch, scott+clemmensen, shawn+matthias, stephen+weiss, steve+bernier, tomas+vokoun

Stamkos Taking Nothing For Granted

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

In an offseason that has brought significant change to the troubled franchise, one wonders how Stamkos will follow up his breakout season.

But when you talk to Stamkos, you get the sense that this season isn’t so much about riding the wave, but making sure he proves he didn’t just stumble into the NHL hardware department.

“You definitely have to go out and prove that wasn’t a fluke. At least I think I’ve got to do that,” Stamkos told ESPN.com. “I’m pretty fortunate to have players like Vinny [Lecavalier] and Marty [St. Louis] who have been in situations like that before and have still found a way to be consistent, especially Marty. He gets on my case all the time to keep working hard.

“And that’s something I definitely take to heart and I’m proud of and work hard every night. And just because you had a good season last year, you don’t want to take anything for granted.”

After the team’s first day of on-ice workouts Saturday, St. Louis joked that it’s not necessarily his tutelage that’s helped Stamkos, but the kid’s lightning speed (there it is again) and rocket shot.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: steven+stamkos

Carolina’s Push Toward Youth is Both Promising and Perilous

The future is now in Carolina, where the old guard is out, an influx of youth is taking over and everyone is looking to put the injury-plagued woes that ruined things a season ago far, far behind them.

With the retirement of former captain Rod Brind’Amour symbolizing the changing of the guard in Raleigh, which started with Eric Staal succeeding Brind’Amour as team captain in January last season, the process of remolding the club is well underway. The 25-year-old Staal will have some veteran support in his first full year wearing the ‘C’ but Carolina’s heavy reliance on several key youngsters is a make-or-break formula for success this season. If the kids collectively respond to the challenge, the ‘Canes have enough going for them to cause trouble in the Southeast and surprise a lot of people. Some growing pains are sure to be felt, however, in such a transitional year for the franchise and immediate success probably takes a back seat to more long-term achievements.

Avoiding the injury bug has to be high on the list of priorities for a club that holds the unfortunate distinction of hitting the 300 man-games lost to injury milestone a year ago.

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Post-Kovalchuk Thrashers Deep on ‘D’, Look to New Faces and Young Guns for Offense

For the Atlanta Thrashers, a team with just one playoff appearance in ten National Hockey League seasons (and not a single post-season victory to their credit), the time for a fresh start was clearly at hand.

By first turning a negative into a positive in moving on from superstar sniper Ilya Kovalchuk late last season and then raiding the cabinet of the cap-crunched Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta begins their new era, under both a new general manager and head coach in Rick Dudley and Craig Ramsay, with a wealth of promising youth and several veterans with recent championship experience.

They may no longer boast an individual showstopper but that formula wasn’t producing a consistent winner in Blueland anyway (and that alone rarely does as much anywhere). The post-Kovalchuk Thrashers appear to be headed for greener pastures, though there will be that little issue of replacing his 45+ goals, of course.

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All Ken Holland And Steve Yzerman

from NHL.com,

What is your philosophy to building a successful franchise?

Holland: “Stability. We’ve had the luxury of stability at the ownership level, management level, scouting level and coaching level. Also, in the time I spent with Scotty Bowman, I saw how he valued veteran players. We’ve continued to move our kids slowly and have always had a veteran presence, which has worked for us.”

Yzerman: “You try to bring in the best possible people in all positions, whether they’re players, managers or coaches. I want good people, passionate people, hard-working people and people who know the game. You want players who have skill, who compete hard and are intelligent.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland, steve+yzerman

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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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