Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
It probably is too harsh to say the Lightning has steered without a rudder since the April 12 firing of general manager Brian Lawton. But it is not too harsh to say the recent storm over whether to pay for Stephane Veilleux’s surgery is a good example of why new owner Jeff Vinik needs to finally hire a new GM and chief executive officer.
If nothing else, the hires would lay out a vision for the organization, and would put people in place to make buck-stops-here decisions. Whether you agree or disagree with the Lightning’s position on Veilleux – it balked at paying to repair injuries to his right shoulder the team believed were not hockey related – the public-relations nightmare might have been avoided and the disruption mitigated had those positions been settled.
Detroit VP Steve Yzerman hasn’t pulled himself out of the running for the Tampa Bay Lightning job officially. It’s his if he wants if. He’s not sure. He has been with the Wings his whole life. A tough call for him to make. The belief is he’ll stay with the Wings and see what opens up down the road around the NHL.
-Bruce Garrioch of Off The Posts at the Ottawa Sun.
What do you think, how would your team’s logo look?
from the CP at TSN,
Steven Stamkos will miss Canada’s next game at the IIHF World Hockey Championship with a possible concussion.
The star forward suffered the injury during Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to Switzerland when he got elbowed in the jaw during a collision with defenceman Timo Helbling. Stamkos sat out the entire third period of the game and will be kept on the sidelines for precautionary reasons when Canada plays again Friday.
“I think it’s just a protocol that you follow when someone has the symptoms that he had,” said Canadian GM Mark Messier. “It’s not a blunt blow to the head, that kind of concussion. It’s a different kind when you get hit in the jaw. There’s still a protocol to follow and we’re going to do that because it’s the right thing to do.”
“In all my years in this business, I have never seen an NHL team with such total lack of respect for the health and well being of one of their own. Here is a player with integrity, honor and a strong work ethic which is being completely abandoned by the team he played for this year.”
-NHL player agent Allan Walsh on the Lightning refusing to pay for surgery on his client, Stephane Veilleux. More from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
Best-case scenario, a new CEO hits the ground running with a vetted short list of GM candidates from which to pick.
But as a precaution, the team also must be prepared to hire a general manager without a CEO in place. That’s not ideal, because the GM will answer to the CEO. But the general manager must plan for the June 25-26 draft, and the timing for hiring a CEO can be flexible if Vinik’s choice has personal obligations that keep him from immediately coming on board or perhaps obligations to a current employer.
Former Senators CEO Roy Mlakar is believed in the mix for the CEO gig. Former Lightning chief operating officer Sean Henry also might be considered, as might former Lightning president Ron Campbell. Tod Leiweke, CEO of the NFL’s Seahawks and rumored to be part of the conversation, has said he is not a candidate.
As for general managers, former Wild GM Doug Risebrough is interested. It is believed Red Wings vice president Steve Yzerman and Maple Leafs assistant GM Dave Nonis have been contacted, and perhaps Pierre McGuire, a television analyst for NBC and Canada’s TSN, and a former assistant GM with the old Whalers.
I’m fairly skeptical of the idea of Yzerman leaving Michigan, even in the name of Steven Stamkos. Yzerman is one of the six or seven icons in Detroit sports history. Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch pays his people well. It’s hard to believe Yzerman lathering up with sunscreen to turn the Lightning around.
But if you connect some dots, it’s easy to see why Yzerman might be tempted. He recently said as much to ESPN, saying he wants to be a GM, but would probably have to go somewhere else to be one.
-Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune. Read more about the idea of Stevie leaving Detroit for Tampa.
from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,
What would it take for Steve Yzerman to leave the comfort of the Red Wings, a team he has been with as a player and executive for 27 seasons, and take a job as, say, Lightning general manager? Scotty Bowman, who coached Yzerman from 1993-2002, said don’t hold your breath.
“I’d be surprised if he leaves,” Bowman said Friday. “He’s like the son to the owner. He’s been there nearly 30 years, and I think he’s in line to move up the chain.”
But Bob Nicholson, president of Hockey Canada, said, “If the right situation came along, I think Steve Yzerman would step out and take on the challenge.”
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources close to the Tampa Bay Lightning say Dave Nonis, Steve Yzerman and Doug Risebrough are believed to be high on new Lightning owner Jeff Vinik’s short list of potential GMs.
Sources say the Red Wings have granted permission for Tampa Bay to speak with Yzerman, currently a vice president in Detroit.
Yzerman won’t comment on the possibility, although his interest in making the move now may be amplified by the fact Detroit will soon announce Ken Holland’s contract extension as executive vice president and general manager.
from Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times,
This year, Lemaire had an average offense, a mediocre defense and an aging-by-the-minute goalie in Martin Brodeur and still guided the Devils to a No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Devils’ flaws were then exposed in the first round of the playoffs, where they were upset by the Flyers in a mere five games. Still, Lemaire will go down as one of the best coaches ever and, perhaps, its greatest teacher.
Anyway, relax Lemaire-haters, Lemaire will not be the Lightning’s next coach. But it’s not a stretch to see him as a consultant for the Lightning, especially if Risebrough is the general manager. And anytime you can add to your organization a man who has his name on the Stanley Cup 11 times, it’s a very good thing.
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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