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Rolston not a sure thing

30

June

Perhaps it was just posturing. Perhaps he just didn't want to give anything away. Or maybe Brian Rolston is so committed to exploring his worth on the open market, the Lightning is going to have to work like crazy to get him signed.

Rolston Whatever the motivations, Rolston's agent Stephen Bartlett played it close to the vest Monday afternoon when asked how negotiations were going with Tampa Bay.

"We've had some discussions," he said.

A good starting point for the Lightning, which is dealing with a player who, as the free agency period approached, has been up front about testing the market, "And I'm not sure that has been derailed or not," Bartlett said. "That's what we're working through."

You can't blame Rolston after three consecutive 30-goal seasons playing in a defense-first system in Minnesota. He made $2.432-million last season so he likely figures it's time for a huge payday. Making negotiations tougher, of course, is his age. Because he is 35, the term of the contract could be an issue.

Rolston can become an unrestricted free agent Tuesday, free to sign with any team. Even so, there's plenty of time left for things to happen. Look how quickly the lay of the land changed with Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts. By the way, still waiting for an official announcement that they signed.

[AP Photo]

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

    

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