GM Jay Feaster could be leaving Lightning

General manager Jay Feaster, a major component of the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup team, is in the midst of negotiations that could lead to his departure from the organization.

It was unclear whether it will be through buyout or resignation. But it seems reasonable Feaster, with three years left on a contract that pays between $800,000 and $900,000 a year, will be compensated. An announcement could come as soon as today.

Feaster's duties have been greatly reduced since the sale of the Lightning to OK Hockey, and his name has been conspicuously absent from player personnel announcements.

Asked Thursday if decisions had been reached on Feaster's role with the team, Brian Lawton, vice president of hockey operations, spoke only generally.

"Jay and I are still in discussions as far as what we'll do there," he said. "I think in the next several days we'll reach an agreement on how it ends up being structured."

Feaster and owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie declined to comment.

Feaster, 45, joined the Lightning in October 1998 as assistant general manager. He became general manager in February 2002 and helped guide the team to the 2004 Cup title. He was the Sporting News' 2004 NHL executive of the year.

Center Konopka signed

The Lightning signed free-agent center Zenon Konopka to a two-year contract that is a two-way deal next season and one-way in 2009-10 that pays $500,000. Konopka, 27, played 62 games last season for AHL Syracuse with a career-high 24 goals and 55 points. The 6-foot-1, 213-pounder also played three games for the Blue Jackets with 15 penalty minutes.

Canucks: Forward Pavol Demitra signed an $8-million, two-year contract.

Coyotes: Doug Sulliman was hired as an assistant coach. He played in the NHL from 1979-90 and was an assistant with the Devils from 1990-93.

Times staff writer Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

GM Jay Feaster could be leaving Lightning 07/10/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 11, 2008 9:03pm]

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