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News from the press conference



A lot of information that came out of today's news conference we already knew. But there were a few new nuggets.

As far as on the ice, new owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie confirmed that the deal with Vinny Prospal is done. It's just awaiting his signature, because he's in Europe with his family.

Expect a news conference Tuesday to announce the new coach, all but certain to be Barry Melrose.
They also said they'd be "staggeringly active'' in the free agency market, and made fairly clear that their emphasis would be on offense. They said they are confident Mike Smith can be a No. 1 goalie and said they like their young defense. But they spent some time emphasizing that they want to find wingers for No. 1 draft pick Steve Stamkos.

They also had lunch with Vinny Lecavalier Sunday and said everything was "fine'' on that front. (They said Vinny paid, if that means anything.)

In terms of their objectives, "Failure isn't an option. Success is what's going to happen here,'' Barrie said.
A couple of times they said this isn't an organization that is broken. It just needs to be tweaked. They also spent quite a bit of time talking about having fun.

As far as the ownership group itself, we finally have the entire list of owners. Koules, Barrie, Mark Burg and Russell Belinsky have been known for months. We reported last week the name of Kane's Furniture CEO Irwin Novack.

Add to those names these three men:
Craig Sher, executive chairman of the Sembler Corp., a local development firm; Jordan Zimmerman, founder of Zimmerman Advertising in Fort Lauderdale; and Richard Lehman, an orthopedic surgeon from St. Louis. None of the investors other than Koules and Barrie were at the news conference.

Oh, and they emphatically reiterated that the team is staying put.
"We will never move this team,'' Koules said. "Amazing fans, amazing base.''

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


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