Roloson on returning to Long Island; Raymond the Hall of Famer
Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson said he received no gag gifts from teammates on his 42nd birthday Wednesday, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.
“I guess they were looking for a cane, but weren’t able to find one,” Roloson said, smiling. “So I lucked out there.”
Roloson, making his first trip to Long Island since the Lightning acquired him from the Islanders New Years Day, said he also feels fortunate to be in the situation he’s in, and has his former team partly to thank.
Roloson said when he signed a two-year, $5 million deal with New York in 2009, GM Garth Snow told him that if the Islanders were out of the playoffs in the second year, he’d trade him. Sure enough, Roloson was shipped to Tampa Bay for D Ty Wishart at midseason, and the veteran goaltender was a big reason why the Lightning reached the Eastern Conference Final.
“I’m very appreciative of what (Snow) did,” Roloson said. “And it’s obviously when you sign and somebody says this is what’s going to happen and this is what will happen, and he stuck to his word, it was amazing.”
Other stuff from the morning skate: Mattias Ritola gets the nod for the second straight game, with coach Guy Boucher saying he earned it with a strong practice Wednesday...Ritola played just over six minutes in Monday's loss to Washington, but Boucher said it wasn't an indication of how he played....D Bruno Gervais, a former Islander, will be in the lineup too, and held court with the local media for a few minutes today, saying he expects a little trash talk but jokes he plans to keep his lips shut....Assistant Marty Raymond has been away from the team the last few days for a good reason; he was inducted into the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame Thursday afternoon. Raymond is expected to be back for tonight's game after flying back from Montreal, where he was the school's second leading career scorer and all-time winningest coach. Said Boucher; "We call him, 'Mr. McGill."...Boucher praised his penalty kill unit for killing off 18 consecutive power plays to start the season, but lamented the fact they've taken way too many penalties, especially those involving sticks (hooking, slashing), "Lazy penalties," Boucher said......
-- JOE SMITH