26 May 2010
With yesterday's big hire, we've finally got an answer to one of our questions, but with so much to do before July 1st, there are many more questions to be answered. Albeit we were in a holding position waiting for the SCF to start, I haven't seen so much MSM jumping on the Lightning stories in a long time (think when OK Hockey went crazy and gave contracts to Malone, Roberts, Prospal etc). It's refreshing to see when the Globe and Mail run stories on the Lightning (not just about our low attendance records), it truly is.
This team will be a tough task for Yzerman to tackle. The last 3 years was literally at some of the lowest points of the franchise. Attendance was abysmal last year even with lots of free tickets being given out. His name will bring some hope to the club, but fans will need to see wins before they completely trust in this franchise again and start putting money back into it.
And although with Stamkos and Hedman on the roster, the outlook is promising, Yzerman has inherited a messy team. We have no legitimate goalie signed, our defence was atrocious, lots of money tied up in very few players, our prospect cupboard needs restocking and we are going to need some forwards as well. Interesting decisions will be needed to be made about the future of Lecavalier and St. Louis with the team and the outcome of those decisions may not be the one that makes fans happy.
Here is a roundup of the stories that have been written in case you've missed any of them
- Mirtle at the Globe and Mail talks about what it must have took to get Yzerman to agree to be the GM in Tampa since this was his first offer to be a GM somewhere. It wasn't just about the money but the trust that he would get from Vinik
- But there was major money involved in the contract. It's supposed to be 5 years at $2.5 million a season making him one of the highest paid GM's in the NHL
- Elliotte Friedman writes one of the best pieces on what may be Yzerman's first big test: Stamkos' contract. He outlines other franchise forwards and how much money they made on their second contract
- Damian Cristodero goes through possible coaches that Yzerman might hire. The list is huge. I've heard Kevin Dineed of the Portland Pirates as a possibility, and I'm already partial to Scott Arniel from the Manitoba Moose (Canuck AHL affiliate)
- St. Louis likes the GM hire
- My boy John at Raw Charge looks into Lightning history and looks at previous Lightning first-hires
- The Draft combine is doing on right now in Toronto until May 29th. What exactly is the combine?