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Cross one name off list of possible candidates for Tampa Bay Lightning CEO

TAMPA — Tod Leiweke said he knows all about the Lightning's search for a CEO. And he acknowledged his friendship with Jac Sperling, the financial adviser spearheading the search.

But Leiweke, CEO of the NFL's Seahawks, said he is not a candidate to come to Tampa Bay.

"I know a little bit about what they're doing, and something good is going to emerge there," Leiweke said. "It's a fantastic opportunity for the right person."

Leiweke's name has been whispered several times as someone in whom new Lightning owner Jeff Vinik might be interested.

But Leiweke is entrenched in Seattle, having just hired Pete Carroll as coach. He also couldn't say enough about Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders, a team he was instrumental in forming and that is bringing in big crowds.

"I'm happy doing what I'm doing," Leiweke said.

Others whose names have surfaced for the Lightning job include Roy Mlakar, former president and CEO of the Senators; Jim Lites, former president of the Stars; Sean Henry, Tampa Bay's former chief operating officer; and Ron Campbell, former Lightning president.

HEDMAN OUT, FOGGY: He said he was okay after Thursday's game with the Senators, but D Victor Hedman was still "a little foggy," coach Rick Tocchet said, and did not play Saturday against the Panthers.

He also is questionable for today's season finale at Florida.

Hedman was hurt when punched during an altercation with Ottawa's Mike Fisher.

SMITTY IN: G Mike Smith gets the start today. He said he would like to finish on a high note but added, "If something drastic happens, I'm not going to dwell on it."

Smith, 12-18-7 with a 3.15 goals-against average and .898 save percentage, has played just 13 games since a neck strain sidelined him for six in January.

"It's been a tough situation, but I'm going to come out of this a better hockey player and better goalie," he said.

As for today, he said, "Any time I get a chance to play, I want to perform at my best. For self-pride and self-confidence, it's a big deal."

FIGHT NIGHT: Smith had his first NHL fight Thursday against Ottawa tough guy Chris Neil.

"He kind of slew-footed me a little bit, and I thought it was kind of dirty," Smith said. "But that guy plays hard, and I respect the way he plays. Kind of got up and went after him. I don't like to do it, but it was more instinct than anything else."

Smith was helped by D Mattias Ohlund, who throttled Neil around the neck and threw him to the ice.

"I wish Ohlund would have let us go," Neil said. "He choked me out like ultimate fighting. I would have had to tap out there."

ODDS AND ENDS: LW Todd Fedoruk left in the third period Saturday with a lower-back injury. … C Steven Stamkos took 20 shots; 10 were on goal, eight were blocked and two missed the net. ... LW Marty St. Louis' 94 points on 29 goals, 65 assists ties 2003-04, when he was league MVP. ... The Lightning finished 21-14-6 at home. … Tampa Bay is 4-10-2 with a tie in home finales. ... D Matt Smaby (back spasms) and D David Hale (ankle) were scratched.

Cross one name off list of possible candidates for Tampa Bay Lightning CEO 04/10/10 [Last modified: Sunday, April 11, 2010 1:26am]

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