Just some quick things:
- As per the Detroit Free Press, Ryan Martin (Detroit's capologist) is not taking part in Detroit's meetings anymore indicating that he will no longer be a part of the Wings. No official announcement yet by the Lightning, but I'm sure it will come soon.
- Kevin Allen of the USA Today tweeted this morning:
In addition to getting Ryan Martin, Steve Yzerman would like to hire Detroit pro scout Pat Verbeek for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
I'll have updates up later if any of these get announced.
Update: Saturday 3pm ET
Cristodero reported yesterday that reports out of Detroit is that the Lightning have hired Pat Verbeek but no official confirmation by the Lightning team yetno comments
From the Windsor Star* via Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland said Yzerman has asked to speak to Ryan Martin, who is the team's director of hockey administration and who handles the ins and outs of the salary cap. Martin is known to be close to Yzerman.
From ProHockeyTalk, Ryan Martin is the guy that made the long-term contracts for Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen in Detroit. And with the Lightning having Lecavalier's contract to ponder, and the impending Stamkos and Hedman contracts to give out, having a guy like Martin would be great for the club.
*I can't find the article on the Windsor Star website that DC is saying this info came from, so we're gonna have to go with his word on thisno comments
Happy Memorial Day to all my American readers! Hope you have enjoyed doing whatever you do on your holiday weekend. Game 2 of the SCF continues tonight at 8pm ET. Will tonight's game be as exciting as Saturday's was? Because if 11 goals isn't exciting, then I don't know what is.
I'm sure today will be a slow news day since it's a holiday, I'll add to this post if anything comes up. The only thing Lightning related so far is from 25 Stanley with a Lecavalier spotting at home in Montreal.
Today I have a guest writer on LHB called DTV. I could never come up with the funny stuff that this guy comes up with on a regular basis, so if you want to read more of his stuff, check out his blog at Don't Trade Vinny or his twitter. He's kinda like DGB, but only writes about a way more pathetic* franchise than the Leafs. Anyways, he's put together a list of things that Stevie Y should make his top priority.
Alright, Stevie, God we’re glad to have ya. But listen, there’s a ton of crap you’ve got to do, and soon. Just as a friendly help, I’ve put together a list:
- First, just, do us all a favor, and send a mail bomb to Brian Lawton. Once you see the cap situation, you’ll probably do this instinctively anyway.
- Find a coach. Dave Andreychuk is a hero around here, and brilliant. Al MacInnis was a complete stud. Call up your pal Scotty Bowman. Hell, if you can handle both, we’ll give you a shot at that too.
- Start limbering up, and calling the Vaughn representatives. We need a goalie. If that’s too much to ask of you, well, you can trade someone for one. Just not Vinny.
- Return the traffic cones to the Florida DOT, and find us some real defensemen. I-275 has been a complete nightmare since Lawton stole them all.
- Talk to Steve Downie, and figure out whatever medication he was on last season that finally got him to act like a sane human being while on the ice, and order at least 30 more refills
- Stock up on white-out, and in the middle of the night one night, just change a few numbers or years on some of those contracts. If you need help, call me.
- Check out the safe deposit box under your desk. That’s where Lawton let Rick Tocchet keep his secret stash of coloring books and action figures. They’re all yours. I’m sure your youngest would love to have them.
*It's going to take a while to get used to that the Lightning may one day not be a pathetic franchiseno comments
H/t to John at Raw Charge for letting me know about this.
Cristodero blogged that since Yzerman's announcement as GM, the Lightning have seen a "spike" in season ticket sales and renewals. Now Yzerman's name alone won't grow the team, but it shows promise that some fans will come back if the fans have faith that the new management. A winning season will be the key in the long term obviously, but still neat to see.
In a completely unrelated note, Cristodero also said that the Lightning will have a pre-season game in Winnipeg on September 22nd against the Blackhawksno comments
Upon suggesting this, I'm half convinced that someone is going to start up a Don't Trade Marty blog on blogspot by the end of the week. This is by no means what I'm suggesting they do (yet), just something to think about as a possibility. Now in the future, trading away Martin St. Louis may become a reality for Lightning fans and it will cause some uproar among the faithful (yes all 10 of you).
Now back in April after the season ended, St. Louis told the media that he might request a trade if the Lightning's rebuilding effort during the summer doesn't turn the team into a playoff contender. Things have changed a little, but based on Vinik and Yzerman's press conference the other day, it was stressed that it would not be a quick one year fix.
Post continued after the jump...no comments
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?