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Does Torts' firing open a door for Roy?



Roy Andre Roy is an emotional guy. We saw it last season, especially  during that wild game March 6 against the Flyers in which Roy, after his second fight with Riley Cote got into a shouting match with the Flyers bench and then made a throat-slashing motion. That little episode cost Roy a three-game league suspension and then a benching for the final 12 games of the season by coach John Tortorella.

The way Roy sees it, had Tortorella stayed with the Lightning, his time there would have been over. But with Tortorella gone, Roy said he seems an opening.

"If Torts would have remained, I think I was pretty much out," Roy said. "I wouldn't want to go through all that stuff again."

But with new owners (OK Hockey) about to take over and a new coach (Barry Melrose) apparently waiting in the wings, the enforcer, a potential unrestricted free agent, wants a new beginning.

"I love Tampa and the team and the fans," Roy said. "I hope I get a chance to redeem myself."

Roy talked more about himself and Tortorella in a story for Thursday's paper that includes some insights from Ritch Winter, the agent for left wing Vinny Prospal. Winter said Tortorella's dismissal has nothing to do with if Prospal, another potential unrestricted traded at the deadline to the Flyers, would want to return.

I know I'm just repeating quotes from the story, but they're pretty good.

"Vinny speaks very fondly of him," Winter said of Tortorella. "He would have no trouble playing for him. That said, there were many times during their relationship that Vinny would have liked to kill him."

There also was this:

"He spoke out when he thought Torts was being a fool, which Torts was being at times," Winter said. "But he has great affection for the work Torts did to push him to a certain level."

Prospal is an interesting case. He had an amazing 2007-08 with 33 goals and 71 points. But it is believed Prospal could ask for as much as $5-million a year. That is too rich for the Lightning, though you have to wonder if Prospal covets enough playing with Vinny Lecavalier if he would come down some in his demands for Tampa Bay. And you have to wonder how seriously the Lightning, which desperately needs forwards, would look at Prospal. Remember, Prospal is streaky and had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2006-07 before last season's breakout.

As for Roy, the Lightning could use the muscle, and Melrose, if he is the coach, was a tough old boy in his playing days. Seems like the two would get along well. Prospal   

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


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