Kukla's Korner Hockey
From Bob McKenzie at TSN,
The final touches are still being worked on and nothing can be formally announced until July 1, but sources tell TSN the Tampa Bay Lightning and superstar centre Vinny Lecavalier have agreed to terms on a mega-deal that will pay him $77 million over nine years.
The annual salary cap hit to the Lightning will be about $8.55 million for the length of the contract, but the final year of the contract is said to be only for about $3 million, which means that if Lecavalier retired after eight seasons, his average salary would be as much as $9.4 million.
Former NHL player and ex-player agent Brian Lawton has been hired to be the new vice president of hockey operations for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Sources tell TSN Lawton will oversee all aspects of the Lightning’s hockey operations for new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.
General manager Jay Feaster will remain as part of the management team.
Update 11:00am ET: From CBC, notes on Bill Barber’s resignation,
All smiles at the recent NHL draft, Bill Barber knew his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning was running out.
On Wednesday, the former NHL forward tendered his resignation as the team’s director of player personnel. Barber will stay in the role until Tuesday.
“It hasn’t been a secret to anyone in the organization that the travel these past few years has taken a bit of a toll on me,” Barber, who joined the Lightning before the 2002-03 season, said in a statement.
ESPN with a video tribute to Barry Melrose who worked at ESPN for 12 years.
Watch the video below…
The Tampa Bay Lightning have place goaltender Marc Denis on waivers for the purpose of buying him out. Should he clear waivers on Wednesday, he will be bought out at that time.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
The Tampa Bay Lightning has hired Barry Melrose as head coach; brace yourself, this could really get ugly.
And considering it’s the Lightning we’re talking about here, that’s saying something.
Apparently new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie felt it was a good idea to replace a Stanley Cup winning coach with a guy who not only hasn’t coached a game in the NHL for 13 years, but was one who had a mediocre .449 winning percentage in just three seasons of NHL experience in the first place.
from the Tampa Bay Lightning,
Barry Melrose has been named thesixth head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was announced by owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie.
“We are very pleased that Barry signed on to become the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning,” Barrie and Koules said in a joint statement. “We believe Barry offers just what this team needs and it starts with his ability to get all 20 players pushing in the same direction and playing at 100 percent night-in, night out. We like his enthusiasm and passion for the game and we know the fans of Tampa Bay will take a liking to him.”
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer!
from Joe Henderson of the Tampa Tribune,
He already has gotten in trouble with the NHL for talking too much, which is a major plus. Outgoing owner Bill Davidson (we think that was his name) did neither of those things - get in trouble, or talk. Or show up here, for that matter.
Koules also has a sense of what people want to hear.
He promises fun at the Forum.
He promises action.
He promises the team won’t move to Vegas, Kansas City, or anywhere else.
All of that - the look, the promises, the cool - are good things. Koules clearly is a hockey guy, too.
From Jim Gintonio at the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes assistant Rick Tocchet has decided not to return to the team, an NHL source has confirmed.
Tocchet is expected to join the staff of new Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, whose appointment is expected to be announced at a news conference on Tuesday.
from Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune,
Koules and Barrie were able to take a few minutes to speak with The Tampa Tribune to discuss why they wanted to venture into the business of owning an NHL franchise, how they met and shared some of their ideas on what kind of a team the fans can expect to see on the ice….
Q: So does that mean you have a pretty aggressive game plan put together in terms of free agency when it opens July 1?
LB: “We might be camping out at two different spots selling our team, selling our city and selling our passion.”
OK: “We are probably going to be in certain players’ backyards with a tent, seriously, the day of. The day the clock strikes we will probably be at their home. And I don’t want that written because I don’t want anybody stealing our ideas. But we are serious, we are seriously talking about doing that.”
Q: Do you have a payroll in mind of what you want to spend or will you wait to see how that plays out?
OK: “We are going to shoot for the moon and see how everything fits.”
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Now, the tea leaves. Given that only a small percentage of players work beyond their late 30s, a man of Lecavalier’s age, and riches already banked, is probably looking at no more than an eight-year extension, bringing him to age 37. The league soon will announce that a max deal, based on leaguewide revenues and the salary-cap figure, will be pegged around $11 million a year.
Exposed in the free agent market next summer, Lecavalier likely would entice at least a couple of suitors (are you listening, Montreal?) to offer him a max deal. To remain in Tampa, where many of his extended family members have moved in recent years, he probably would lock in around eight years at $80 million.
more NHL talk…
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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