Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the St. Petersburg Times,
Wilson said he still is trying to make sense of the tumult surrounding the now-dead $200-million proposal that included the St. Pete Times Forum lease and 5 1/2 acres of nearby land in Tampa.
He also tried to allay “understandable” fan nervousness about the team’s future.
Wilson said he still has “some degree of optimism” Absolute Hockey Enterprises’ main players can resolve their differences and resurrect the purchase.
If they do not, he said, the team will not be shopped—“we’re not hiring a broker to see who might have interest in the Tampa Bay Lightning”—but offers that “fall out of the sky” will be considered.
Florida Real Estate developer Jeff Sherrin, TV show executive producer Oren Koules, and and long-time hockey executive Doug MacClean are three of the principals in Absolute Hockey Enterprises, the group which was trying to purchase the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning confirm a lawsuit was filed between two of the partners in the ownership group.
The current owners are still hopeful they will be able to sell the hockey team to Absolute Hockey Enterprises or members of that group.
added 8:57pm, via Sports Network,
The sale of the Tampa Bay Lightning to Absolute Hockey Enterprises came to a screeching halt Monday due to a legal disagreement between Jeff Sherrin and Oren Koules, the principal partners in the deal.
Sherrin, who owns a vast amount of real estate, and the Venture Capital Group, is suing Koules in excess of $75,000. In court documents filed Monday in the 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, Sherrin sued Koules for using highly confidential information for trying to broker his own deal to acquire the team, circumventing the partnership plan.
From Carter Gaddis at The Tampa Tribune,
It’s alive. The ice, that is. Not in the biological, breathing-in-and-out sense that defines much of the life on this planet.
But to Tim Friedenberger, it often seems as if the massive sheet of frozen water at the St. Pete Times Forum has a mind of its own. And if it can think…
“It is alive,” said Friedenberger, the Forum’s vice president of facility operations. “It’s a living thing. I’d say every facility, the ice has a personality.”
Like any living thing, a sheet of ice has its good days and bad. A unique facet of the NHL is how vulnerable the aesthetics of the game itself can be to the vagaries of the playing surface.
from Lightning Strikes,
Tortorella was fined $10,000 by the league today for blasting league on-ice officials after some questionable calls hurt his team Monday night. The coach reached a boiling point after his team blew a 3-1 lead and a phantom holding penalty on Brad Richards in overtime led to Atlanta’s game-winning goal.
“The frustrating part for me is these organizations pay the players millions upon millions of dollars,” Tortorella said. “They’re the ones who need to decide outcomes of games….
from the St. Petersburg Times,
So a day after Paul Devorski’s questionable holding call on Brad Richards led to the Thrashers’ winning overtime goal, players simply, and calmly, said they want the standard for penalties applied more consistently.
The league’s director of officiating, Stephen Walkom, said numerous “check and balances” help maintain the standard.
But Lukowich, after a workout at the Ice Sports Forum, insisted, “There should be less of a gray area. When the ref and rules are enforced the right and proper way, the players just go out and play. That’s what we do.”
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Nowadays, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete player. He scores, he sets up plays, he leads and he fights too. Lecavalier had a memorable scrap with the Calgary Flames’ Jarome Iginla in the 2004 Stanley Cup final, and held his own against one of the strongest players in the league. Last month, amid Tampa’s struggles, he fought in back-to-back games — against the Washington Capitals’ Shaone Morrison, in which he received a penalty for instigating the fight; and then the next night, against the Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Hartnell. As most players will attest, when a team’s best player is also prepared to do some of the dirty work, it can lift a team’s morale right out of the gutter.
From Erik Erlendsson at The Tampa Tribune,
Richards is off to his best start through 19 games and is on pace for a career high in goals and right on pace to match his career best in points. And while the point production is a big part of Richards’ game, it’s not the sole indicator of how he’s playing.
In watching Richards on the ice this season, he looks quicker, he looks stronger, he appears to have more confidence and seems more intense, noticeable in his fight Wednesday against Carolina’s Justin Williams that left him with a cut on his lip.
“I feel a lot better, I do,” Richards said. “Sometimes you can’t control the points and it would be nice to bury a few more chances, but overall I feel way better, way stronger so I feel a lot more confident going into this part of the season. Whether or not my start - and I think it’s been a good start and that’s obviously going to help - but I feel different and I feel a lot better than I did last year.”
from the Blueshirts Blog at Newsday,
The papers haven’t been signed yet, but the Rangers are all but signed, sealed and delivered to Prague to open next season with a two-game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
And that pair of games will only comprise half of the NHL’s season-opening plan for 2008-09. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators are expected to open their season with two games in Stockholm.
continued (permalink is not working for the blog, so off you go to the homepage)...
From the Tampa Tribune,
It took Lightning defensemen 36 games last season to reach double figures in goals scored. It took them half as long, 18 games, to reach 10 goals collectively this season.
And that’s with 20-goal scorer Dan Boyle (left wrist surgery) out for all but four games.
What’s happened, with Boyle out of the picture, is that Coach John Tortorella’s blue liners have begun to become more conscious of trying to help scoring opportunities when they’re available.
“If you’re asking your forwards to play on the other side of the puck defensively,” Tortorella said Friday, “we ask our defensemen to play on the other side of the puck, offensively. We feel like we have the people. It’s just a matter of willingness to get up the ice and make it happen.”
via the St. Peterburg Times,
Pat Burns considers it fortunate that, living in Port Charlotte, he regularly attends Lightning games at the St. Pete Times Forum.
Watching Vinny Lecavalier turn into a superstar hasn’t been bad either, the former Devils coach said, and Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Hurricanes confirmed what he long has believed.
“If I was to start a hockey franchise and I had the first pick overall, I’d take Vinny,” Burns said. “I’ve said he is the top player in the NHL.”
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