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)

Tampa Bay Lightning doing fine financially, commissioner Gary Bettman says

RALEIGH, N.C. — OK Hockey has restructured its $70 million financing agreement with the former owner. It is asking St. Pete Times Forum employees to pay $30 a month to park and help pay a $250,000 yearly lease on the lot across the street from the arena.

And despite giving away an average of 2,500 tickets, Tampa Bay's announced average attendance of 16,231 is 2,461 fewer than last season.

Even so, commissioner Gary Bettman shrugged off the seeming indicators of difficult financial times.

"You make it sound as if the club is in some sort of trouble. It's not," Bettman said Friday. "(Owner Oren Koules) is completely confident, and I have no reason to give you any sense that would undermine the confidence that he's conveying to you."

The bottom-line source of Bettman's confidence, though, seems to be the financing deal with ex-owner Bill Davidson's Palace Sports & Entertainment.

"It's no secret that they did some financing on the deal, which is a good thing," Bettman said. "It means the franchise is in solid financial condition."

Is ownership?

Koules recently told ESPN.com: "Are we making money? No. But are we bleeding like most people think we are? Of course not."

"Listen, you have very committed owners there," said Bettman, who described the refinancing meeting he attended as positive. "They are passionate about the club, and they want to make sure this team is performing on and off the ice as well as possible.

"But with new owners, in any sport, there's always a learning curve, and when you make a lot of changes, people sometimes tend to make judgments before you see the full effects. … I'm not talking just about Tampa. I'm talking about any club. Sometimes you make decisions that don't work out as you had hoped. You adjust. You make good decisions and do other things."

Recchi upset: RW Mark Recchi did not hide his displeasure at being a healthy scratch for the first time this season, even though coach Rick Tocchet said it was to give the 41-year-old a break in the second of back-to-back games.

"He could probably play," Tocchet said. "There's nothing really wrong. It's more body maintenance than anything. … For the good of him, I'd like to see him get a rest."

Recchi has 12 goals, is third on the team with 25 assists and 37 points, and is averaging 16:52 of ice time, but he has played more in eight of the past 10 games. He also played in all of Tampa Bay's previous 58 games.

"Here's a guy who was supposed to play 60 games for us," Tocchet said.

With the March 4 trade deadline looming, it is feasible Tampa Bay was showcasing other players, and the Oilers, Stars, Penguins, Flyers, Kings and Red Wings had scouts at the game.

Just don't tell Recchi he's tired.

"I had five scoring chances (Thursday) night," he said of the game with the Devils. "You don't get that if you're tired."

Odds and ends: C Jeff Halpern's second-period assist was his first point in 12 games. … With 21 goals on 92 shots, LW Ryan Malone entered the game second in the league with a 22.8 shooting percentage.

Tampa Bay Lightning doing fine financially, commissioner Gary Bettman says 02/20/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 21, 2009 6:27am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  2. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  3. Nine Florida football players, 62 felony complaints in fraud scandal

    College

    GAINESVILLE — The fraud scandal that has engulfed the University of Florida's nationally ranked football team for weeks exploded Monday with the first detailed accounts of criminal accusations that threaten to derail the Gators' season.

    Florida Gators wide receiver Antonio Callaway (81) runs the ball during the Outback Bowl in January at Raymond James Stadium. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Where Rays shortstop Matt Duffy's lost season leads

    The Heater

    BRADENTON — In a perfect world Matt Duffy would have been in New York on Monday with his Rays teammates enjoying the final off day of the year. Instead, he was on Field 4 at Pirate City on a sweltering afternoon, trying to restart his season.

    Rays shortstop Matt Duffy plays in his first game (since rehab was aborted) with the club's instructional league on Monday at the Pirate City baseball field and spring training complex in Bradenton [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. Vinny Lecavalier's jersey retirement will be another classic Vinny moment

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — He was the face of the franchise. He was taken first overall in the 1998 NHL Draft by a franchise at the bottom. Art Williams, the nutty Tampa Bay Lightning owner at the time, proclaimed the 18-year-old from Ile Bizard, a Montreal borough, "the Michael Jordan of hockey."

    Vincent Lecavalier makes a break for the net while playing an exhibition game on Sunday (9/24/17) with the 2017 U.S. Women???‚??„?s National Team at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Lecavalier was the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 2000???‚??€œ2001 season and between the 2008???‚??€œ2013 and spent his first 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning before signing with the Philadelphia Flyers.