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Tampa Bay Lightning founder Phil Esposito says daughter Carrie died of aneurysm

TAMPA — An autopsy revealed Carrie Selivanov died at age 43 from an abdominal aneurysm, her father, Lightning founder Phil Esposito, said.

"She basically bled to death internally," he said.

Esposito on Tuesday was back doing radio analysis for the Lightning after a leave of absence to travel with wife Bridget to Krefeld, Germany, where Carrie, who was married to former Lightning star Alex Selivanov, died suddenly on Jan. 30.

Carrie and Selivanov had two boys: Nikko, 13, and Rocco, 9. Son Dylan, 18, was Carrie's from a previous marriage.

"Alex is devastated," said Esposito, who brought Carrie's cremated ashes to Tampa. "It's a good thing Bridget and I were there. The kids really needed her and Alex really needed me."

Esposito said spending time with his grandchildren helped him deal with his emotions. He watched Nikko and Rocco play hockey, and Esposito said there is a tentative plan to enroll Nikko at a Canadian school specializing in hockey instruction.

Dylan, Esposito said, wants to study hotel management.

"Life goes on," he said. "You have to keep moving forward."

BETTMAN SPEAKS: Commissioner Gary Bettman was at the game and hit on several topics during a meeting with reporters:

• He said Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn at dinner requested an All-Star Game at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and though there are "lots of clubs who haven't had it yet … that's something I could see coming back here at some point, absolutely." Tampa hosted the game in 1999.

• Bettman said Lightning concerns about added travel as a result of proposed realignment would be addressed with "good scheduling" and that "overwhelmingly, the (Board of Governors) believed this was the right way to go, and whatever issues any particular club had, on balance, this was a good thing for the league."

• Formal discussions with the Players Association on a new collective bargaining agreement have not begun, though Bettman expects them "sooner rather than later." The CBA expires Sept. 15.

MEDICAL MATTERS: LW Ryan Malone (upper body) was back after eight games. He played 19:34 with three shots, a block and a hit. … D Matt Gilroy missed his second straight game with an injured left hand he said was hurt Thursday against the Rangers when hit by a shot. The issue, he said, is gripping his stick. … D Marc-Andre Bergeron said he tried electric stimulation to help the healing of his sore back that has kept him out of 13 of the past 14 games.

STONE-WALLED: Senators G Craig Anderson is 3-0 against the Lightning this season with a 1.00 goals-against average and .969 save percentage while stopping 94 of 97 shots. He is 6-1-2 all-time against Tampa Bay.

"We're playing against Ken Dryden when we play against Ottawa," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said.

Added Malone: "A lot of teams overlook him but he's a good goalie and good goalies if they see the puck they're going to stop it 99 percent of the time."

ODDS AND ENDS: There was a moment of silence for former University of Tampa football star Freddie Solomon, who died Monday at age 59. … RW Brett Connolly also was scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning founder Phil Esposito says daughter Carrie died of aneurysm 02/14/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:12am]
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