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Ron Hextall is likely part of the Tampa Bay Lightning's search for a general manager

Add Ron Hextall to the Lightning’s list of potential general manager candidates. Hextall, 46, a goaltender with the Flyers, Islanders and Nordiques in a 13-year NHL career, has been the Kings assistant general manager for four years. It is believed he and Tampa Bay have at least had preliminary talks.

The Lightning, as has been its M.O. during its CEO and GM searches, declined comment. The Kings, in an e-mail, wrote, “We cannot comment,” and Hextall declined comment to Canada’s Sportsnet web site. The most interesting no comment came from the Kings, who about 10 days ago were asked if Tampa Bay had requested to speak to Hextall, and the answer came back no. Read into that change what you will.

The Lightning’s GM search has taken some hits lately as Maple Leafs assistant GM Dave Nonis signed a contract extension, and scuttlebutt has increased that Red Wings vice president Steve Yzerman is more likely to stay in Detroit. It is believed former Flames GM Doug Risebrough and former Whalers assistant GM Pierre McGuire also have been interviewed.

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has said he wants to hire a CEO, who will hire a general manager. Makes sense as the GM will answer to the CEO. But with with preparations necessary for the June 25-26 draft, don't be surprised if at this point the GM is hired first. Not saying that will happen, but it is a possibility.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 12:15am]


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