22 June 2009
But then, via Lightning Shout, the St. Petersburg Times confirmed the rumours about the bickering going out between Lightning owners Koules and Barrie. Tomorrow, Bettman will hold a meeting with the two owners to give the authority to make decisions about the team to ONE of them.
Romano writes something at the end that I found really interesting:
But, today, the fissure seems wide. The talk is that Koules wants to keep Lawton as GM, wants to trade Lecavalier to get out from under his $85 million contract and wants to pare the payroll to the low $40 million range. Barrie is not as solidly behind Lawton, wants to build around Lecavalier and is in favor of signing some free agents to get the payroll closer to $50 million.
I've always thought that perhaps it was Barrie who made all of the early decisions about the team last year, and then Koules that just ended up taking over the day-to-day stuff when they hit the point that they really just couldn't fix the team mid-season (and Barrie was still up at Bear Mountain). Perhaps I was wrong. If Barrie is wanting to build the team around Lecavalier and spend more than just the salary cap floor, then I think this is a step in the right direction.
I mean really, could this year get any worse than last year? Or did I just jinx myself by asking that?