Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A | Prospective Lightning sale

Next Lightning regime needs to pick a coach first

It appears almost certain now that John Tortorella is on his way out as coach of the Lightning and Barry Melrose is on his way in.

Neither Oren Koules nor fellow investor Len Barrie would comment Thursday after what they said was a successful meeting with the NHL's executive committee. But nobody (except Melrose) is denying it, either.

And with the sale of the team likely to be approved at the league's June 18 Board of Governors meeting, moving forward on the most pressing issue for the prospective owners would seem prudent.

Moving forward on all fronts, from setting budgets to building a management team, is a good idea, but especially in regards to Tortorella. The coach has said he wants to return for his contract's final year. But rumors about Melrose, the ESPN analyst and ex-Kings coach, are getting louder.

It is unfair to the players and the coach to keep them in limbo. And if he is going to be fired, Tortorella should be given as much time as possible to search for a new job.

Here's some informed speculation about where Koules and Barrie go from here on Tortorella and other issues.

How fast will the coaching situation be addressed?

Perhaps next week. Tortorella seemed to back himself into a corner by first telling general manager Jay Feaster it might be time for him to step down. There also was tension between Tortorella and Feaster over how Tortorella handled the benchings of Andre Roy and Shane O'Brien. Tortorella will have his pick of jobs if he is fired; the Senators, Maple Leafs and Sharks have been mentioned most.

What about management?

Much depends on how OK Hockey divides responsibilities. How much will Koules be involved in hockey operations, not to mention the St. Pete Times Forum? What will Barrie's job be? Bet that Feaster, who is somewhat shielded with three years left on his deal, and team president Ron Campbell will be watching.

Is the payroll set?

The salary cap is expected to be about $55-million, and Tampa Bay likely won't come close to it. But with plans to draft Steven Stamkos No. 1 overall ($875,000 a season for three years) and a serious need for a couple of scoring forwards, the payroll shouldn't dip from last season's approximate $45-million.

Will Marc Denis be bought out?

Buyouts happen June 15-30. The goalie will be paid two-thirds of next season's $3-million salary. For cap purposes, the $2-million will be spread over two seasons, double the years left on his contract.

How about Vinny Lecavalier?

The superstar center has one year left on his contract. It is believed Koules wants to sign him to a long-term deal.

Any other odds and ends?

Norfolk GM Claude Loiselle needs a contract, and the Admirals need a coach.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

Next Lightning regime needs to pick a coach first 05/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 3, 2008 3:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue (w/video)

    Softballpreps

    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former Countryside and LSU softball standout A.J. Andrews will be among 23 athletes to be featured in ESPN The Magazine's body issue. "I have a really ripped back," Andrews says while laughing in the video. [Photo from video]

  2. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  3. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)