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Category: Tampa-Bay-Lightning

Time For Lecavalier The Leader To Show Up

from Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune,

The Lightning are coming off the Olympic break, the one they went into reeling. Vinny Lecavalier led the way, reeling right along. It’s time for No. 4 to get off his butt, or his contract, and be a captain and lead a playoff charge, score like a shooting star, perform like the highest-paid player in the National Hockey League.

Don’t hold your breath.

That Vinny doesn’t play here anymore.

Vincent Lecavalier is making $10 million this season, more than Sidney Crosby, more than Alex Ovechkin, more than anyone. Did you know that? Some nights it’s like common thievery. Vinny is shortchanging his team - and his own talent.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Afternoon Line

Clearly, Lawton and Tocchet are not in the same book right now, let alone on the same page. And that is not what is best for this team.

And once again, the hockey world is taking notice of just how dysfunctional things are being run down here in Tampa in the past 24 months and waiting to see what happens next.

-Eric Erlendsson of Bolts Report.  Read more on the state of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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

Clean-Up Needed In Tampa

from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,

If my name is Jeff Vinik and I’m about to complete the purchase of the Tampa Bay Lightning, there is one more caveat before I sign the deal.

I want a broom - a big one - and I want to sweep the Forum clean. It’s non-negotiable.

Given the events of the last couple of days, it’s reasonable to ask just who the soon-to-be owner of Tampa Bay’s hockey team can trust over on Channelside Drive. General Manager Brian Lawton? Rick Tocchet, the head coach?

The guy who runs the Zamboni?

Anybody?

Who could blame the new owner if he starts sweeping at the top and doesn’t stop until he reaches the bottom floor.

continued

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

Strange Decisions Continue In Tampa

from Damian Cristodero of Lightning Strikes,

The most interesting aspect of the change to the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff is not so much that assistant coach Wes Walz was fired after he declined the head coaching job at AHL Norfolk, or that Norfolk coach Jim Johnson has been hired as a Lightning assistant, helping to push out Walz. It is that Lightning coach Rick Tocchet apparently was not consulted by GM Brian Lawton before the change was made.

“None,” Tocchet said Wednesday when asked how much input he had into the changes. I was told at 12 o’clock (Tuesday).”

Lawton, for his part said, “I did discuss it with Rick,” but that, according to Tocchet’s time line, apparently was after the decision was made.

The Lightning is one point out of a playoff spot and has 21 games left. The season resumes March 2.

continued

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

New Tampa Owner Must Deal With Lecavalier First

from Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times,

Why has Lecavalier backslid? Who knows? One theory is that Lecavalier isn’t playing well because he doesn’t trust the current ownership. If so, that would be disappointing, because most competitors don’t get their fire from the guy in the owner’s box. But if I’m Vinik, I have a heart-to-heart with Lecavalier on the first day I own the team. I tell him I think he is capable of more.

Over time, Vinik has a lot of questions to answer. He has to decide what to do with his general manager, with his head coach, with his marketing plan, with his budget, with his blueprint.

First, there is Vinny.

For a new owner, that’s where hope begins.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

Lightning Could Be Adding Players

from Damien Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

GM Brian Lawton didn’t make any predictions as to what the Lightning will do at the trade deadline, but he said being part of the playoff race means the team could be a buyer.

That, and Lawton said prospective owner Jeff Vinik, who already is writing payroll checks, is open to adding payroll if the right deal comes along.

“I explained what we were doing as a management group, and it didn’t rankle Jeff,” Lawton said. “We’re looking to be aggressive. That’s the way we’ve been preparing for the last month and a half as we see how the team is doing. Our people are out doing what they should be doing to prepare a team that hopefully stays in the hunt for a playoff spot.”

continued

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

Koules Dreamed Of Making The Playoffs

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Oren Koules will be in Toronto Wednesday, overseeing the start of filming of Saw VII, the latest instalment of the immensely successful movie franchise that made him rich enough to be an NHL owner.

But it didn’t make him rich enough to be an NHL owner without partners, which is why his heart will be back in Tampa with the club he had to sell last week to Boston money manager Jeffrey Vinik.

“The part that hurts is when we finally got through the circus and got to concentrate on building, we had a pretty good team,” Koules said yesterday. “Not seeing it to the conclusion is hard. I always dreamed every day of making the playoffs. We have a chance to make the playoffs and that’s our goal.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: oren+koules

The Lecavalier Question

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

When the Montreal Canadiens make the transition from Bob Gainey to Pierre Gauthier later today – presumably on an interim basis to start – I suspect the one question that everybody wants answered is one that won’t be; and that is, what was the plan that Gainey actually had in mind for the 2009-10 season and not the one that was actually put in place, which involved throwing a lot of money at Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri. I suspect two things: One, that it wasn’t – and that the moves that he put in place were a fallback plan after his pursuit of Vincent Lecavalier fell short; and two, we won’t hear the definitive answer in a public forum, even if it would a lot of last year’s machinations into their proper perspective.

But like a lot of Habs watchers, you had to think that Gainey knew the value of putting a French-Canadian superstar such as Lecavalier in a Montreal sweater, and not just because of his heritage either.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: vinny+lecavalier

It Was Time For Ohlund To Move On

from Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province,

...the Canucks certainly weren’t even on the same planet when it came to the $26.25-million, seven-year deal the Bolts threw at Ohlund the second his free agency set in.

“It was clearly time for me to move on, and for the organization as well,” Ohlund said.

Nothing exposed the weakness of his game more than last spring’s Stanley Cup series against Chicago, in which the Blackhawks’ young guns blew by him like he was a pinwheel.

A big pinwheel, mind you, but looking stationary by comparison.

By his own admission, Ohlund is having a subpar season with the Lightning, but when it comes to his strengths he’s as effective as ever, knocking Christopher Higgins head over heels on Saturday night, dislocating Henrik Zetterber’s shoulder with a crunching body check in December.

“He’s a guy that in close space is really good, like in the corners stopping the cycles,” Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said. “And he’s a good guy in the locker room.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mattias+ohlund

Flames Not Happy With Hit On Bourque

from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,

No word on how badly Rene Bourque may be injured, how much time he’ll miss or what, exactly, is bothering him….

Bolts defenceman Kurtis Foster hopped out of the penalty box and slammed into Bourque from behind, leaving the Flames’ third-leading scorer dazed before heading to the locker-room.

“One, he’s an unsuspecting player. Two, it’s from behind. Make your own conclusion,” said Flames winger Jamal Mayers afterward.

“It’s gotta be a penalty.

“Any time you come out of the box, you can do that.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kurtis+foster, rene+bourque

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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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