Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning notebook

Taylor practices for Lightning, but return is unlikely

TAMPA — Tim Taylor hasn't been nervous about a practice since his first with the Red Wings as a rookie in 1993. But he sat in coach John Tortorella's office Saturday morning at the St. Pete Times Forum wondering if he was doing the right thing.

"He kind of laughed at me," the captain said, grinning.

Taylor, 39, seemed as if he had answered the question after practicing for the first time in almost six months since surgery on his right hip.

His body feeling better than at any time in the past seven years, he joked about being "ready to go" but seemed at ease with the prospect he might have played his last game. Taylor's wording gave every indication he is unlikely to attempt to return after missing all of this season.

"Is it very wise for me to come back and play one or two games and risk the rest of my life?" he said. "I got this surgery so I could live the rest of my life without the pain I was going through and discomfort. So I'll leave it at this: I'm going to go practice and have fun with the guys."

Quick return: Center Jeff Halpern, who entered Saturday with five goals and 10 points in nine games since being acquired in the Brad Richards deal, played after Tortorella said in the morning he would be scratched.

Halpern strained his back on a first-period faceoff Thursday — a game in which he scored a power-play goal — and played just one shift in the second before leaving for good.

nominated: Craig MacDonald, a 30-year-old journeyman who has found success — despite taking a shot Dec.  20 that yielded nine lost teeth and multiple root canals — and an advocate in Tortorella, was nominated by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the Masterton Award.

The league-wide award honors perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Tortorella, impressed that MacDonald missed just one game "no matter what they did to him in the dentist's chair," hopes the multitasking wing can be included in next season's plans.

"He's earned the respect of the coaching staff and organization," he said. "And you have to take a look at him as we start trying to get our team back together."

The winner is announced in June.

odds and ends: Tortorella said Mike Smith and Karri Ramo will share the final 10 games of the season though Smith, acquired in the Richards deal, has started three of the past four. … Defenseman Mike Lundin injured an ankle sliding into the boards in the second and did not return.

Taylor practices for Lightning, but return is unlikely 03/15/08 [Last modified: Sunday, March 16, 2008 12:15am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]
  2. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  3. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  4. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.