Doug Risebrough says he is "very interested" in Tampa Bay Lightning's general manager job
Doug Risebrough's name has been the most whispered regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning's search for a new general manager. On Monday, for the first time, Risebrough confirmed and spoke about his interest in the job.
"Yes, I'm very interested," he said.
Tampa Bay apparently has asked for, and likely has received, permission to speak to Risebrough, the former Wild general manager who is a scout/consultant for the Rangers. Risebrough declined comment when asked if he has had contact with the Lightning, and the Rangers and Lightning also declined comment. But given Risebrough's close relationship with Jac Sperling, the former Wild alternate governor who is spearheading the Lightning's general manager and CEO searches, it is a reasonable assumption there could already have been at least preliminary talks.
Of the search, Risebrough said, "I think the way they're doing it and going about it is the right approach. They're taking their time. The most important thing is getting it right."
About the Lightning, he said, "Right now, it's a good, young team. It deserves a good, bright future."
Risebrough, 56, played 13 NHL seasons for the Canadiens and Flames. He was the Wild's GM for its first eight seasons, leading the team to a division title and three playoff appearances. He was fired after a disappointing 2008-09 season, as part of a housecleaning by owner Craig Leipold.
New Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has said he wants a CEO and GM in place by the June 25-26 draft. Vinik has made it sound as if a CEO will be hired first, and the CEO will hire the GM. If that is indeed the case, it seems Vinik and Sperling want to have some options ready and on the table for the CEO.