What, me worry?
C Zenon Konopka made a big show of worrying about his future with the Lightning as the trade deadline approached Wednesday. He admitted the day after that he really wasn't concerned. Not because the 29-year-old knew he wouldn't get traded, but because he appreciates his situation compared with previous years toiling in the minors. "I've been through a lot of weird situations in a lot of different leagues where you're not treated nearly as well as you are up here," Konopka, left, said. "When you get traded in the AHL or the East Coast (league), you kind of have to find your own way down there. It's not a first-class thing. Here you're at the best level in the world. Too many people worry enough for all of us." It wasn't always so pleasant. Coach Rick Tocchet remembers when players would literally skate in circles after coaches were called off the ice during practices to be told about deadline trades. "We didn't have a lot of assistant coaches around, so you're just kind of waiting around and skating," Tocchet said. "Now, you try to make it as comfortable as possible."
A couple of Hounds
Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier lit up when he heard W Teddy Purcell, acquired Wednesday from the Kings for C Jeff Halpern, attended Murray Athol College of Notre Dame.
"He's a Hound?" Lecavalier said. "We're related."
The prep school in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, population 222 and known for its hockey program, inspires that kind of loyalty from its alumni, even those who do not know each other.
"If you went to Notre Dame, it's kind of that instant bond," Purcell said.
"It definitely is that way," Lecavalier said. "I didn't realize he went there. It's fun. We can share stories."
Purcell had one about the first time he saw the town surrounded by farmland:
"The first day I went up there, the guy picked me up at the airport, and it's about 30 minutes away. I had my Rollerblades in the bag, and he asked me what I was going to do that day. I said, 'I don't know. Maybe put on my Rollerblades and run around town and see what it's about.' He said, 'You won't.' I was like, 'My Rollerblades are right here.' He said, 'There are no paved roads.' He wasn't lying, so that was my 'welcome to Notre Dame' moment."
5 questions W Teddy Purcell
Did you meet any movie stars while you were in L.A.?
Andy Garcia, Vince Vaughn, Kevin Connolly and Jack Nicholson.
How did they act, so to speak?
They were pretty cool once you get to know them. At first you're a little starstruck, but when you get over that, they're just like we are.
Any others you'd like to meet?
Will Ferrell. He's a funny guy, and I like comedies.
Can you act?
No. I'm probably the worst.
Not even in school?
We didn't have acting class. I took gym instead.
Quote to note
"Are these the replacements? I didn't think they were going to do it this quick."
LW Todd Fedoruk, seeing a youth hockey team warming up at the St. Pete Times Forum after the Lightning met with new owner Jeff Vinik