BRANDON — Lightning G Dan Ellis has some advice for athletes on Twitter:
"Keep it basic. Keep it boring. Anything other than that can stir things up. If it's something that's going to cause your team and your organization negative attention, stay away from it.
"After my experience, I don't see any benefits to it unless you're doing it in a charity way or a promotional way to help people out."
Ellis, saying he did not want to be a distraction to the team, shut down his account Wednesday after vicious attacks over remarks he perceived as innocent but sparked a furor.
It began Monday, when Ellis responded to a tweet from the NFL's Reggie Bush about the 18 percent pay cut owners want players to accept in the next collective bargaining agreement.
Ellis bemoaned the 24 percent pay cut NHL players accepted after the 2004-05 lockout and said he worries more about money now than when he was in college. Given Ellis' two-year, $3 million contract, the negative reaction on Twitter and the Internet was swift and prompted him to apologize and, later, stop tweeting.
"I was just making a remark about the NFL-CBA dispute," Ellis said Thursday at the Ice Sports Forum. "I didn't mean to offend anyone of different financial brackets. It was unfortunate people took it the wrong way and took it out of context and made it into something really big that was never intended."
Ellis said he is disappointed to leave the social network but believed he had no choice.
"Just the fact that this whole thing can be something that could be a distraction for the team; this is my new squad. These are the guys I want to play for, and the last thing I want to do is bring any negative attention to this place."
As for someday going back to Twitter, Ellis wasn't sure.
"It was a pretty sour event," he said. "I'm a good person, and honestly, it was quite hurtful the things that happened there and a lot of the things that were said. For me, I've seen a lot of negative things from that media source. I'll probably avoid it for the most part for quite some time."
IMPROVING: C Vinny Lecavalier, coming off Aug. 24 arthroscopic surgery to clean out loose cartilage from his left knee, played in a pickup game for the first time, and was on the ice for 90 minutes.
"It was good the whole time," Lecavalier said. "There's still a little bit of swelling we have to get out, but I couldn't even feel it out there. Even from three days ago, there's a huge difference.
TRYOUT FOR PERRIN: Unable to find an offer for a one-way contract, C Eric Perrin accepted Tampa Bay's tryout invitation.
Perrin was a nice story in 2003-04, when the Lightning gave him his first NHL chance next to childhood friend and college teammate Marty St. Louis and won the Stanley Cup.
Perrin had 13 goals, 36 points in 2006-07 for Tampa Bay. After two seasons with the Thrashers, he played last season in Russia.
At 34, Perrin knows this could be his last kick at the can. That is why he said he wanted it to be with the Lightning.
"I've always had a soft spot for Tampa," Perrin said. "When you feel comfortable and been somewhere, it's a lot easier."
Perrin said the team gave him no guarantees: "My advantage is I'm a little bit older, so my nerves won't be as much of a factor. There are still going to be nerves because you have it in the back of your mind that if this doesn't work out, this is it. I move on to something else."
ODDS AND ENDS: G Mike Smith and former Canadian Olympic skier Brigitte Acton were married Sept. 3 on a mountainside in Aspen, Colo. … C Steven Stamkos: "We're going to be a fun team to watch. I'm just excited to do whatever I can to get this team to the playoffs."