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Commissioner: Lynx troubles serious

1

December

Given that the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL uses so few players from the Lightning organization, the consequences here are not dire for Tampa Bay other than the inconvenience of what may happen. But it is worth noting that ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said Monday morning that Augusta's owners have not secured financing to keep the team running in the long term. Lightning GM Brian Lawton had said Sunday he believed a deal was in place.

There are still talks with at least one investor to get financing, but McKenna said the situation is pretty dire.

"Whether the ownership group can carry on remains to be seen," he said.

If the worst case unfolds and the team disbands, players under contract to the Lynx would be declared free agents, McKenna said. Those players under contract to the Lightning such as goaltender Riku Helenius, defenseman Kevin Quick and center Chris Lawrence would simply be re-assigned.

McKenna said this week likely is crucial to what ultimately will happen with the 10-year-old franchise; perhaps it gets the financing, perhaps it is sold or simply goes out of business. McKenna said it is too early in the process to consider whether the league would step in and run the team.

"They've talked to various groups but haven't had any luck to date," McKenna said of the Lynx. "But I understand they are talking to at least one interested party."

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]

    

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