Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning players weigh options for lockout

BRANDON — Perhaps no Lightning player is anticipating the 2012-13 season as much as Anders Lindback, whose career is at a turning point.

After two years as a goalie backup in Nashville, the 24-year-old is expected to be Tampa Bay's next No. 1. But after the NHL on Sunday locked out its players because a new collective bargaining agreement is not in place, Lindback's future is on hold.

"I want to get started right away, but you have to do what's best for the players," Lindback said. "Whatever happens, it's part of it. You have to do what it takes to stay ready."

What players will do and where they will do it while the league and players association hammer out a deal is the next part of this drama.

Will Lightning players continue gathering for informal workouts at the Ice Sports Forum? If they do, they will have to pay the rink for ice time and have no access to the team locker room or trainers.

Will players go home? Captain Vinny Lecavalier returned to his native Montreal on Friday to pick up his wife, Caroline, and their two kids but said he might stay in Canada.

Lindback; forwards Marty St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Teddy Purcell and Ryan Malone, and defensemen Sami Salo and Victor Hedman said they are contemplating playing in Europe.

St. Louis, who played in Switzerland during the 2004-05 lockout, said his negotiations are ongoing. Stamkos said his have been preliminary.

For now, though, Stamkos said, "Some guys have plans to stay here for a bit and see what happens. I'd like to work out with the guys. This is a good group we have here."

Said defenseman Brendan Mikkelson: "I'm not going to change anything. I'm going to get ready like the season is going to start on time until they tell us otherwise."

That time may soon be coming. According to Canada's Globe and Mail, the NHL is offering 49 percent of hockey-related revenue to the players in 2012-13, 48 percent in 2013-14 and 47 percent in the final four years of a six-year deal.

The players, who received 57 percent last season, are asking for 54.3 percent in 2012-13 and not less than 52.2 percent in the rest of a five-year deal.

The sides, the newspaper said, are about $1 billion apart.

"You've got to hope for the best, I guess," Purcell said. "If you get (mad), you'll just drive yourself crazy. But it is a terrible situation, not good for anyone."

The organization, for example, can no longer send players to team-sponsored community events, meaning coach Guy Boucher and general manager Steve Yzerman likely will be drafted into service.

Yzerman and the coaches also will be in Syracuse, N.Y., to watch training camp for Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate.

"I'm hopeful," Yzerman said, "both parties can come to an agreement and we can start the season on time."

In the meantime, the Lightning has emailed season ticket holders a message from chief executive officer Tod Leiweke asking for support and patience.

As for the players, "There's no structure in your life right now," Purcell said. "You're just kind of sitting around waiting. It's just a different feeling. You don't want to skate too much and burn yourself out, but you want to stay on the ice. You've got to find that balance to keep yourself sane."

Bottom line, Lindback said, "I've had a good summer. I want to start playing some games."

Comments
Lightning journal: Vasilevskiy’s bottom line, Callahan’s production concern

Lightning journal: Vasilevskiy’s bottom line, Callahan’s production concern

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The rest of the Lightning players had left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon for a quick change before the team’s charter flight to Minnesota.But G Andrei Vasilevskiy stayed ...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For the first 20-plus games this season, Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness knew "the look" was coming.The other team’s top line would jump over the boards and Tampa Bay rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev would peek over at Bow...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

Missing the Olympics a missed opportunity (and misstep) for NHL?

One week from today, Tampa will be the center of the hockey world.The All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. Players will smile for the cameras. They'll put on a fantastic show. Maybe they'll catch a bead or two from a Gasparilla parade.But you ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

Andrei Vasilevskiy: ‘I have to be better’

The rest of the Lightning players had already left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room for a quick change before the team's charter flight to Minnesota.But goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, 23, stayed on late, facing about 15 minutes mo...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

Fennelly: Lightning needs a reset on the road … pronto

TAMPA — Vegas has left the building.Wasn't the Lightning just arranging place settings for next weekend's NHL All-Star Game party?With that in mind, I headed to the home dressing room at Amalie Arena late Thursday after the Lightning was manhan...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

Golden Knights move within one point of Lightning for top spot in NHL

SUNRISE — Aaron Ekblad scored 40 seconds into overtime to lift the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Golden Knights on Friday, spoiling Vegas coach Gerard Gallant’s return to Florida. By gaining a point, Vegas moved within one point of the Lightning...
Published: 01/19/18
Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

Time for Lightning leaders to snap team out of funk

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Steven Stamkos sat at his stall in a near-empty Lightning dressing room Thursday and did what captains often do:He shouldered some blame for the Lightning's listless 4-1 loss to Vegas."As a leader, I've got to be a lot better,...
Published: 01/19/18
Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

Why I hate the NHL All-Star Game

TAMPA — The NHL All-Star Game is coming to town next weekend, reaffirming our community's ability to step into the breach when needed. We don't stop until we get the Winter Olympics. So, don't be surprised if those next Rays stadium plans ...
Published: 01/19/18
Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

Steven Stamkos: ‘I have to be a lot better’

There was plenty of blame to go around after the Lightning's 4-1 loss to the Golden Knights Thursday night.This loss wasn't on one person, no question.But captain Steven Stamkos showed some leadership by shouldering some responsibility for the team's...
Published: 01/19/18
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising. After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had team...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18