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Tampa Bay Lightning's Marty St. Louis says he would want in on any players-owners meeting

The suggestion by the NHL that players and owners get together for a meeting without league or Players' Association negotiators has been lampooned by many as a publicity stunt. But the union brass and its locked-out players apparently will discuss whether it is a good idea, and Tampa Bay Lightning star Marty St. Louis said he would want to be part of any face-to-face with owners.

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Tampa Bay Lightning lost $13.1 million last season but value stays constant, Forbes says

Forbes is out with its annual list of NHL team valuations and the Tampa Bay Lightning, at $174 million (the same as 2011), was ranked 23rd in the league. But the magazine also said the team had a loss of $13.1 million, though its operating income of $88 million tied a team best.

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Tampa Bay Lightning's Marty St. Louis "baffled" at state of negotiations but not bolting to Europe

Tampa Bay Lightning star Marty St. Louis said he is "baffled" by the state of negotiations between the Players' Association and league on a new collective bargaining agreement.

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Players' Association Nov. 21 proposal to the owners

The Players' Association proposal to the owners on Nov. 21:

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"I don't know where we go from here," says Lightning's St. Louis after disappointing day

The Players' Association made a new proposal to the league on Wednesday and the initial reaction did not appear to be good. In fact speculation is the All-Star Game in Columbus could be canceled as early as Friday. Games through Nov. 30 previously were canceled as has the Jan. 1 Winter Classic.

While commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters in New York he "appreciated" the union moved somewhat in the league's direction, he added, "we're still far apart. It's frustrating for everybody."

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Tampa Bay Lightning RW B.J. Crombeen will play with the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears

Another Tampa Bay Lightning player has found a place to play during the lockout as right wing B.J. Crombeen will join the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears.

Crombeen is expected to play Saturday and Sunday for the Minnesota Wild affiliate. His contract allows Crombeen to evaluate on a week-to-week basis if he wants to continue playing.

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Five stitches and a black eye not enough for Lightning's Ryan Malone to consider using a visor

So, there was Ryan Malone on Wednesday, the usual smile on his face as he skated with Tampa Bay Lightning teammates at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. But Malone also sported five black stitches in his right eyebrow and a can't-miss-it shiner under his eye.

"At least it didn't hit my eye," Malone said of being struck Monday by an inadvertent high stick from Marty St. Louis.

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Tampa Bay Lightning's Ryan Malone cut by teammate's stick blade at informal lockout skate

A bleeding Ryan Malone left the ice Monday after he inadvertently was cut above his right eye by the stick blade of Tampa Bay Lightning teammate Marty St. Louis.

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State of CBA negotiations, conflicting reports, make this confusing time for Lightning's Marty St. Louis

Marty St. Louis said he came to the conclusion two weeks ago that it is time he gets on the ice and starts playing. But the Tampa Bay Lightning wing, who played in Switzerland during the 2004-05 lockout, is hesitant to commit to a European team because of the ups and downs in negotiations between the owners and locked-out players on a new collective bargaining agreement.

"I know where we stand as a union. I'm not confused that way," St. Louis said Monday after a skate at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. "I'm confused in my decision making. Do I go? Do I not go?"

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Lightning to host Battle of Badges charity game between Tampa Bay-area police and firefighters

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 17 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum will host a charity hockey game called Battle of the Badges. Tampa Bay area police and firefighters will face off along with Lightning alumni, including former captain Dave Andreychuk and team founder Phil Esposito. Proceeds benefit the Gold Shield Foundation.

Here is the announcement from the team:

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Lightning's B.J. Crombeen agrees sides have been spinning their wheels in latest CBA talks

There was much optimism surrounding what has become extended negotiations between the NHL and its locked-out players, but bad vibes have quickly overwhelmed the good feelings. Those became even more acute after Players' Association executive director Don Fehr's memo to players that characterized significant gaps between the sides and "a lot of work to be done" to get to a new collective bargaining agreement.

That is not good news for those who believe the league wants a shortened season (perhaps 74 games) going by Thanksgiving or the beginning of December. Some even characterized the 18 hours of negotiations over three days (Friday was the fourth day) as a spinning of wheels, something Lightning right wing B.J. Crombeen said is a "fair" assessment.

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After skate with OHL Oshawa, Stamkos says "it was good to get back to that practice atmosphere"

For the past several weeks of the lockout, Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos has worked out in Toronto with fitness guru Gary Roberts and skated pickup games at the local rink. He turned it up a notch on Wednesday by skating with the Oshawa Generals of the junior Ontario League during a team practice.

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Having contracts honored is huge point for locked-out players in labor fight with owners

There are many aspects of the labor dispute between the NHL players and owners that must be worked out -- revenue sharing, contract lengths, when players can become free agents -- but one of the most important (if not THE most important) for players is that current contracts are honored.

"You sign a deal, the honorable thing to do is keep your word," Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier said Wednesday after he and six teammates skated at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. "That was something that was a huge discussion (among the players) and with everybody. You sign a deal. You want the team to honor it."

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New York Rangers' Brad Richards to join teammates in helping Sandy's victims "any way we can"

The reunion, as short as it was, between Rangers center Brad Richards and former Lightning teammates Vinny Lecavalier and Marty St. Louis was a good time for all.

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Tampa Bay Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier on CBA negotiations: "Hopefully, it's for real this time"

With negotiations between the league and Players' Association set to resume Tuesday, locked-out players skating at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon were both encouraged and cautious about what may be in store.

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