Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
...But the ensuing three weeks got to be so frenzied, so hectic, so exhausting, it’s amazing Lawton’s wavy brown mane hasn’t frizzled as if he actually was struck by a lightning bolt.
“It’s been kind of like the movie ‘Gladiator,’,” said the 43-year-old Lawton, reached in his office just before midnight earlier this week. “The gates open, and you’ve got to be ready for anything and make sure you’re not killed.”
In fact, Lawton has been the one doing the trampling. Since his June 25 hiring by owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, the NHL’s biggest daily headlines typically come out of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed center Steven Stamkos to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton announced today at a press conference at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, British Columbia. Stamkos is currently attending the Lightning’s prospect camp in Victoria.
“It is with great pleasure that we formally announce the signing of Steven today,” Lawton said. “It is obvious to all of our staff in a brief period of time that Steven is a very special young man with great potential. His work ethic and eagerness to learn have been very impressive. We believe with our veteran leadership that Tampa Bay is the perfect scenario for Steven to grow and mature as a player and person on and off the ice.”
From Brant James at Lightning Strikes:
The team will begin rookie camp in Victoria, B.C., by formalizing the signing of Steven Stamkos, its No. 1 draft pick in this season’s NHL Entry Draft.
Not surprisingly, Stamkos was offered the most lucrative possible rookie contract as allowed by the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement: three years with a base of $850,000 and a total package value of $2.4 million if he reaches all maximum achievable performance bonuses (a complex set of league-standardized criteria.)
From the Boston Herald,
The big ticket on the carousel of coaching candidates that Garth Snow is running this summer belongs to former Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella, who is scheduled to meet with the New York Islanders general manager today.
Because he stands to collect $1.3 million for the remaining year of his Lightning contract, Tortorella can well afford to be choosy about his next job. That salary is slightly more than twice as much as former Isles coach Ted Nolan was believed to be making, but that’s what a 2004 Stanley Cup victory will get you. The Lightning’s obligation to Tortorella would be offset by whatever salary he makes in a new job this season.
continued… plus notes on the Bruins
from the Kingston Whig-Standard,
The youngster referred to the goalie as a “famous Canadian,” which might be a stretch but not in the north country. In this neck of the woods, Smith is a bona fide star, a local puckster who learned his trade in the shivering confines of the nearby tin-walled shinny barn in Piccadilly and now performs in grand arenas of North America, with and against the finest players on the planet.
Make no mistake, these are indeed heady days for Ron and Ingrid’s strapping son, the 161st player drafted in the 2001 NHL draft. Traded from the Dallas Stars to the Tampa Bay Lightning midway through last season, Smith recently inked a two-year, $4.4-million contract extension. More importantly, he now has an opportunity to become a No. 1 goaltender, something he would not have had in Texas as long as good friend and all-star netminder Marty Turco was turning aside pucks.
“It goes without saying that Mike has a bright future in the Lightning organization,” said the team’s vice-president of hockey operations, Brian Lawton.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Former Lightning coach John Tortorella could be in line to take over the vacant head coaching position with the New York Islanders.
The Islanders have contacted Tampa Bay seeking permission to speak to Tortorella, the Tribune has learned. The Lightning have granted the Islanders their request to talk to Tortorella.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired former NHL goaltender Mike Vernon as special assistant to the vice president of hockey operations today, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced. Vernon’s duties will be to assist in hockey-related matters and to provide guidance to the team’s goaltenders.
“The Tampa Bay Lightning are thrilled to add a former Stanley Cup Champion to our staff,” vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said. “Mike’s past experience and knowledge will be a true benefit to the organization and it will be critical to us as we continue to make changes within the team to improve it.”
from Lightning Strikes,
Jeff Halpern’s knee is responding slowly, and the center likely won’t be back in the lineup before Christmas. When Halpern underwent reconstructive surgery on his right knee, the window for his return was the end of October to the end of December. Seems as if the Lightning is shooting for the later of the dates.
“It’s a big injury,” said Brian Lawton, the Lightning’s vice president of hockey operations. “There was a lot of atrophy.
more on the Lightning…
from Lightning Strikes,
So much for the idea the Lightning lacked confidence in goaltender Mike Smith. Brian Lawton, the team’s vice president of hockey operations said Monday that the No. 1 job “is Mike’s job to lose,” and that the two-year, $4.4-million contract extension was a way “to instill some confidence in him. ... We wanted to eliminate any doubt where we stand. We are behind him 1,000 percent.”
via TampaBay 10,
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Mike Smith to a two-year contact extension today, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced.
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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