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Mike Commodore hopes to revitalize career with Tampa Bay Lightning

Mike Commodore, 32 and a Stanley Cup winner, was traded to the Lightning by the Red Wings at the February deadline after playing just 17 games this season. Last season in Columbus he fell out of favor. “I know I can still play,” he says.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Mike Commodore, 32 and a Stanley Cup winner, was traded to the Lightning by the Red Wings at the February deadline after playing just 17 games this season. Last season in Columbus he fell out of favor. “I know I can still play,” he says.

Mike Commodore knew he was taking a chance posting on his Twitter account a clip from the movie Slap Shot that toasts Florida women with language unbecoming a family newspaper.

But Commodore, recently traded to the Lightning and already so loving the state, figured what the heck. "I just thought it was funny."

One woman, though, took exception.

"What I do with stuff like that is direct message them (on Twitter)," the defenseman said. "I'm like, 'I'm sorry if I insulted you. I was trying to be humorous.' "

Commodore finds humor in many things, including himself, such as in December, when as a member of the Red Wings, he accepted Twitter congratulations for his season's first shot on goal.

He is very serious, though, about the opportunity he has with Tampa Bay to re-established himself in the league and perhaps earn a contract, something that wasn't happening in Detroit, where as a regular healthy scratch he was in just 17 games.

"I know I can still play," said Commodore, 32, acquired at the February trade deadline. "Can I do everything I once could? Maybe not. But I'm not old. I feel like I still have something left in the tank."

In six games with the Lightning he is plus-2 with an average 14:46 of ice time and turns on the penalty kill and late in games to protect leads.

At 6 feet 4, 227 pounds, he adds a physical presence and has the bona fides from winning the 2006 Stanley Cup with Carolina.

"He keeps it simple and keeps his composure under pressure," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said. "He's been a really good addition for us."

Still, Commodore, also a member of the 2003-04 Flames who lost the Cup final to the Lightning, fell so far off the map, Detroit traded him for a conditional 2013 seventh-round draft pick, the conditions being that unless Commodore plays 15 games and Tampa Bay makes the playoffs, the Red Wings get nothing.

That was after he signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Wings after falling out of favor with the Blue Jackets, who bought out the last two seasons of his five-year, $18.75 million deal.

"I enjoyed it there. The guys were awesome," he said of Detroit. "The only thing I was disappointed in was I was told there was going to be an opportunity there for me to play and it wasn't there. It was never there."

"He's getting a second chance," Boucher said.

He brought his sunny outlook on life with him.

"An easy guy to get along with," teammate Brian Lee said. "He has lots of stories, likes to laugh; just a good guy to hang out with."

And he has his Twitter account — @commie22 — with more than 41,000 followers.

Commodore said he does not tweet about the locker room and will not tweet about a teammate unless he gets permission. He admitted a failed attempt to sign up Pavel Datsyuk for Twitter, but he did get the Red Wings star to answer fans' tweeted queries.

"I try to have some humor with it," Commodore said. "I don't want to insult people or anything like that. But there are times … "

Such as when he tweeted the consequences of eating too many bread sticks at Olive Garden …

Mike Commodore hopes to revitalize career with Tampa Bay Lightning 03/11/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 11, 2012 8:03pm]

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