We have a bit of weekend break before our next game which is at home on Tuesday. Here are a few links to get you by through the weekend

Stamkos Could Have Been a Ranger?
In the New York Post today, Larry Brooks reports that a deal was done by Glen Sather and Len Barrie to trade Stamkos to the Rangers. They had started talking at the opening of the season when the two teams faced off against each other in Prague and by November when they played again the talks had become serious

Barrie was asking to choose two or three from a wish list that featured Michael Del Zotto, Evgeny Grachev, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky and Dan Girardi.

"How close did we come?" Sather asked rhetorically, repeating the question we posed to him as the Rangers practiced in Tampa on Thursday. "We shook hands on it, that's how close.

"I'd been on it since Europe. I had an agreement with Len Barrie. I asked him if he had the authority to make the trade, and he assured me that he did, because he was an owner.

"But the next day, I found out that he didn't. He went to run the deal by [GM] Brian Lawton, who wanted no part of it. As I understood it, the way it was told to me, Barrie was still going to make the deal, but then he was told that he couldn't unless he got the approval of [co-owner] Oren Koules.

"Koules shot it down," said Sather. "That was the end of it."

Sad to say that I am not the least bit surprised that Stamkos was being shopped by Barrie or the fact that Barrie never consulted his GM that he employs or his co-owner. Thank god it did not happen.

h/t to Lightning Shout for the link

Jim Johnson Returned to AHL
Are they just making up for mistakes made previously? Um, yes. He was an assistant coach that never actually hit the ice. Besides the fact that he was promoted in a way that ruffled feathers, Michael Russo tweeted yesterday that Tocchet wouldn't "allow" Johnson on the ice or take any of his input. So basically, they are acting like children, more on it here.

My Thoughts on NBC's Pro Hockey Talk
Not Lightning related, but I was asked by NBC's Pro Hockey Talk to give my thoughts about the most frustrating player on the Vancouver Canucks. My pick was Pavol Demitra, so go visit Pro Hockey Talk to read my reasoning and check out their new site if you haven't already, be warned they post often (click on the first link to go directly to my post) but don't worry their wit is never compromised.