Tampa Bay Lightning News and Notes: CBA Tough Talk, Paul Ranger Found, Mathieu Garon's Health and More
Here are some Hockey Bay tidbits to hold you over until training camp opens…hopefully.
An NHL work stoppage is nearing reality as the September 15 deadline is fast approaching. A group of Lightning players continue to work towards the scheduled September 21 training camp opening, assembling most mornings at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, Florida for informal practice. Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone, Adam Hall, Eric Brewer, Marc-Andre Bergeron, BJ Crombeen, Sami Salo, Mathieu Garon, Dmitri Korobov and free agent Brett Clark are regulars at the morning skates.
These union members are upset that the basis of the league's proposal cuts the players' share of hockey-related revenues from 57 percent to 46. After the 2004-05 lockout the players gave back 24 percent of salaries. The Bolts are frustrated and some are talking about it.
Forward B.J. Crombeen weighed in on the CBA battle:
“Our proposal is a good proposal. With our proposal we feel we’ll be closer to getting that agreement done.”
The Bolts' heart and soul, Martin St. Louis spoke in a more defiant tone:
"With my age (37), you want to keep playing. I don't want to take a year off. If the NHL wants to shut us down, we'll go play somewhere else. If it gets to October, it usually means (a lockout) will go longer. You have to be patient before you go to Europe, but it's definitely an option guys will look into,” said St. Louis.
"We have so much momentum as a league. It didn't happen overnight. Players are working harder than ever off the ice, and I think there's a direct correlation with how good the product is on the ice and how much the game has grown. Last time we lost an entire season to turn around and give them their deal, so if we have to sit we’ll sit. That’s how I feel” (Photograph/Linda Hamilton)
Rising star, Teddy Purcell thinks a layoff will hurt him and all other players regardless of their age:
"I don't think it's good for anybody. Older guys who only have a couple of years left, they don't want to miss a year, and younger guys like me, who are just starting to establish themselves in the league. As a player, you want to take the next step in your career, and a year off would hinder that."
Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron seemed to sum up the players feelings:
"It's frustrating. We gave them what they wanted, and all of a sudden it's not good enough. We're not the only one who should make sacrifices. It seems like we're too good of guys. They try to take advantage of us because they know what we gave the last time, I guess."
Goalie Mathieu Garon is fully recovered from a season ending groin injury that shelved him for the final 16 games of last season. Garon sounded excited about the upcoming season.
"It's not awkward at all getting back on the ice. I've been working all summer to strengthen the muscle. I would say right now it's 100 percent. Right now everything is looking good. With the new additions, I feel like we're all ready to prove that last year was just a fluke. It's good to see also that everyone is coming back healthy."
Lightning fans were angered and concerned about Stanley Cup winning Captain Dave Andreychuk’s legacy when it was announced that newly acquired defenseman Matt Carle will wear number 25 this season. In an email, Senior Vice President Bill Wickett recognized Andreychuk’s contributions:
"The organization fully recognizes Dave Andreychuk's impact as a Lightning player and as Captain of the 2004 Stanley Cup champions. We look forward to properly saluting and celebrating him for his contributions to the franchise."
When defenseman Paul Ranger unexpectedly left the Lightning, due to an “undisclosed personal issue” early in 2009, it was as mysterious as the dark side of the moon. Ranger endured two shoulder surgeries and two very difficult rehabs but seemed healthy.
The Bolts 2002 sixth round pick has resurfaced, signing a deal with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.
Goalie Jaroslav Janus has found a place to play the 2012-13 season. After being encouraged to do so by the Lightning, the 22 year old has signed a two year deal with HC Slovan of the KHL in his native Slovakia.
Janus was 23-8-2 with 2.36 goals against average and a .914 save percentage for the AHL champion Norfolk Admirals last season. Once the Bolts signed Anders Lindback and Riku Helenius, Janus became the odd man out. Incumbent A.H.L. champion Dustin Tokarski will play in Syracuse with the newly acquired Helenius. Lindback and Mathieu Garon will be in net for the Bolts. The Bolts retain Janus’ North American rights.
NHL.com reports that the Florida Panthers have cancelled their annual prospects tournament because of the CBA dilemma. The Bolt prospects were penciled in to compete in the tournament that was to include Carolina and Boston.
Robert Canton was hired as Tampa Bay's Executive Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning. The 48 year old Canton spent 22 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Tampa. He replaces Chief Financial Offer Martha Fuller.
The Lightning’s national TV schedule was released. The Bolts are scheduled to be on the NBC Sports Network seven times this season and their games will be broadcast five times on CBC Hockey Night. No games are currently scheduled to show on NBC.
On NBC Sports Network
November 21 at Hurricanes
January 8 at Penguins
February 14 vs. Sharks
February 24 at Penguins
February 26 vs. Sharks
March 3 at Devils
March 26 vs. Sabres
On NHL Network
January 11 vs. Capitals
February 21 vs. Bruins
February 28 vs. Penguins
And just for some on ice fun, there’s this:
Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.