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Former Senators exec Mlakar interested in Lightning CEO job

TAMPA — Add Roy Mlakar to those who could be considered for the Lightning's CEO job.

"I definitely want to get back in the game," he said. "I think (Tampa Bay) is a great franchise."

Mlakar (pronounced ma-LAHK-er), 59, has an impressive resume. He spent 13 seasons with the Senators as president and CEO, and helped build the franchise into one of the league's most profitable and successful.

Though let go in June as part of a shakeup after the team missed the playoffs for the first time while he was there, Mlakar was praised in the media for his work and community service.

Mlakar was president of the Kings for two seasons, an executive vice president for five and was part of the effort to bring Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles. He was chief operating officer of the Penguins for two seasons, joining Ottawa in 1996.

Mlakar also has ties to Wild governor Jac Sperling, who led new Lightning owner Jeff Vinik through the purchase process and is leading the CEO search.

"I have not spoken to Mr. Vinik," Mlakar said. "But Jac Sperling knows me very well … Jac's well aware of the fact that I'm there, let's put it that way."

Others who could be part of the search: former Stars president Jim Lites, Tod Leiweke, CEO of the NFL's Seahawks, former Tampa Bay COO Sean Henry and former Lightning president Ron Campbell.

TRACKING STAMKOS: As expected, C Steven Stamkos (lower back contusion) played and finished with two shots in 21:12 of ice time, though he had zero shots in the third period.

DOWNIE FINED: The league fined RW Steve Downie $1,000 for his takedown Sunday of Penguins star Sidney Crosby. Downie said he spoke to league disciplinarian Colin Campbell Tuesday for about five minutes.

"He called it a dangerous play," Downie said, adding he put his hands on Crosby only to push him away.

Crosby fell with his right leg painfully pinned under Downie. No penalty was called and Crosby played the rest of the game.

"If he didn't fall in an awkward position, it wouldn't even have been talked about," Downie said.

Coach Rick Tocchet said Downie is marked because of past transgressions, but wishes he would be rewarded for skating away from confrontations.

"Downs has got a little bit of a reputation. He's going to have to suck some of this stuff up," Tocchet said. "Guys got tangled up. That's all I saw. But he's going to have to live with that for a while.

"He's been taking a lot of punches in the mouth, and maybe we can get some power plays from it because we haven't gotten any from Downs."

MALONE SURGERY: LW Ryan Malone will be out 10 to 14 days after minor arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced. He will continue to receive treatment on an upper-body injury that caused him to miss four of the past five games.

Malone, 29, began the season with 15 goals in his first 22 games but has just six in his past 43 and zero in his past 15.

ODDS AND ENDS: Tampa Bay reassigned RW Carter Ashton, drafted 29th overall in 2009, to AHL Norfolk from his junior team in Regina. RW Richard Panik, drafted 52nd, went to Norfolk with an amateur tryout contract. … C Zenon Konopka (back) and D Mattias Ohlund (ankle) were scratched.

Former Senators exec Mlakar interested in Lightning CEO job 03/16/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:07am]
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