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KOULES COULD GET BACKER

The intentions of a real estate investor whose best man was Mike Tyson are unclear.

Another potential player has emerged in the Lightning's ongoing ownership saga.

Jeff Greene, a real estate investor Forbes magazine says is worth $1.3 billion, could become part of Oren Koules' effort to buy out partner Len Barrie.

Whether, when or the parameters of how Greene might invest are unclear, especially considering recent reports in Canada's Globe and Mail that Koules is doing a solo deal with Palace Sports & Entertainment, the team's previous owner and primary debt-holder on its sale.

In any case, nothing has been finalized and it is believed Greene's interest is preliminary. But he adds to a story line that apparently also includes St. Louis real estate investor Anthony Sansone as part of Barrie's effort to buy out Koules.

Koules declined comment. Greene, through his representative, Glenn Bunting, did the same.

Greene, 55, whose primary residence is in Miami Beach but has California homes in Malibu and Beverly Hills, is a colorful character.

He has a 145-foot yacht and a 40,000-square-foot mansion that he calls Palazzo di Amore where he lives with his wife, Mei Sze Chan. Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson was the best man at their wedding.

According to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, Greene grew up middle class in Worcester, Mass. After graduating in two-plus years from Johns Hopkins, he saved $100,000 in three years while managing telemarketing centers. His first property investment was a three-bedroom house in Boston, where he lived while attending Harvard.

He acquired 17 more homes while at the business school.

A 2008 Forbes article said Greene is considered one of the first to have traded credit-default swaps, which paid off from defaults of subprime mortgages. The magazine said his take was $800 million.

LUNDIN SIGNS: Defenseman Mike Lundin, who had been the Lightning's last unsigned free agent, signed a one-year deal on Wednesday. The two-way contract pays $550,000 if Lundin plays in the NHL, $105,000 if he is in the minors.

Lundin's agent, Ben Hankinson, has said his client, who played 51 games last season for AHL Norfolk after playing 25 with the Lightning, feels buried on the depth chart and asked general manager Brian Lawton to work out a trade.

"Mike signed a contract with the goal to play in Tampa," Hankinson said. "If it doesn't work out in Tampa Bay, then we are confident GM Brian Lawton will give him a chance with another NHL club."

Coyotes: Ice Edge Holdings pulled out of the bidding for the bankrupt team but hinted it might try to buy the team later. It cited an inability to reach a new lease with the city of Glendale. The lease has been cited as a primary reason for the team's financial problems. The departure leaves the NHL and Canadian billionaire James Balsillie as the only bidders for an auction scheduled for today and Friday. Balsillie wants to move the team to Hamilton, Ontario. The NHL wants to resell the team to a buyer that would keep it in Phoenix.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report. Damian Cristodero can be reachedat cristodero@sptimes.com

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