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Written by Dani Toth | 23 May 2010

I thought that maybe I should write something about whether Vinik is close to announcing his new management team and then maybe speculate about a few names. Let's try my hand that this style of writing shall we?

Vinik did say that he would hire someone within 30-60 days on April 12th after the firing of Lawton and Tocchet, and well the 30 days is upon us! So let's speculate as to why he didn't announce his hires in 30 days! God forbid he should take the full 60 days to announce his new CEO and GM, the beat writers might go crazy trying to reword the same non story over and over.

Perhaps my post should start with Stevie Y....then should add some Pierre McGuire in...and maybe some assistant something or another from the Predators (they are trendy these days). Maybe I should speculate that perhaps the reason he has not announced anyone is because they are still working for a team that is currently in the playoffs!

And then maybe I should offer my opinion that Vinik is really running out of time here...because he has what, another month to go to the draft? (god forbid those scouts actually did something all year) blah blah blah. And then maybe I'll bold some names in my post just to make it seem like there is content in there.

Now that was fun little writing exercise. Wish you could take back those 2 minutes that you spent reading this?

Yeah that's how I felt when I read this, which may or may not be this, just with a few names bolded and 4 days later. Read the comments of the article, it appears I'm not the only one who felt that way about it either.

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Written by Dani Toth | 19 May 2010

If you've read this blog you know my extreme dislike for how the Lightning organization treated Dan Boyle and ended up trading him away to San Jose. Today I came across more than one article about Boyle/Campbell but check out this one by Pierre LeBrun with some quotes from Boyle regarding his trade to SJ, here are a few:

"At the time, you just signed a six-year deal, getting ready to build a house and settle for likely the remainder of your career, so of course I was nervous, because I didn't know anything about it," said Boyle. "But fast forward two years later, it was a great decision on my part and it certainly worked out."

"I don't remember exactly what he said, but I know we had a conversation right before the trade happened," said Boyle. "All I can say is, the second I hung up, I knew I was going to San Jose. I just felt I was in the right hands. And for me, it was about winning. I didn't want to go back to losing, and I knew this team was going in the right direction."

My dislike about the trade was not just about how the organization handled it, but the issue that they traded away one of their best players on the team. Every time I see Boyle jump up in the play, I'm envious of SJ fans.

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Written by Dani Toth | 17 May 2010

Hello readers!

er....I mean hi mom! If you hadn't noticed (but you did because you are a super loyal reader) I've been away from The Hockey Bay blog. Yes I know the Lightning blog world isn't the same without me and maybe you have been worried as to where I have been? *maybe?*

Rest assured I have been blogging away at my other diggs, Benched Whale, supporting the Canucks until they decided not to play hockey and just self destruct until they lost the playoffs. Well mission accomplished for the Canucks! I have also been writing at SBN's Raw Charge where I am covering the World Championships (with Team Canada coloured glasses) and doing some stuff over at Cycle Like the Sedins.

So now we're down to the conference finals and I'm back to blogging about the Lightning. Like I said I never really left blogging, I was just consumed by the constant posting over at Benched Whale that I didn't have time to write up about every mundane thing that has occurred in the Lightning hockey world (which is really nothing). I can't imagine what would happen if both the teams I write about make it into the playoffs one year (actually I can imagine me imploding from the stress).

I'll try to be posting here semi-regularly again, especially when we get some news that is worth writing about. There will also be some changes to the blog itself coming up in the off season, so I'll keep you posted as that comes up.

So we're in the offseason and this team doesn't have a CEO or a GM. There has been some talk about potential GM's, but I don't personally want to spend my time talking about them until they actually become a GM of the Lightning. I don't find there is a use to talking about Yzerman, Risebrough, Nonis, McGuire....etc until someone actually gets hired. These two hires (the CEO and GM) will say a lot about Vinik and what direction he wants the team to go forwards in.

The one thing I will say about the potential GM Pierre McGuire:

Although I have been making fun of him on twitter, in reality I actually feel that Pierre McGuire would not be an awful choice.

Hear me out on this one.

Now as much as he may get on your nerves because you don't like his colour commentary, I feel that he has branded himself extremely well. His job is to be a tv hockey personality that is insightful and recognizable, and he's done both of that well. If you say 'monster' of the game, you think McGuire and to me that means he's nailing his job. On TSN the other colour commentator is Ray Ferraro. Now although I like listening to Ferraro commentate games (he's been killing it recently), he doesn't have the branding that Pierre McGuire has built for himself.

I think he may be a very insightful guy and he has had experience as an assistant coach, head coach and scout before. He is not too far removed from the game and I'm sure has built up relationships with other GM's through his broadcasting. He has been with the media for quite a while, which is what he will have going against him. His name had been floated around previously when the Canucks were hiring their GM 2 years ago and I heard a lot of good thing about him back then. So as much as he may be an easy person to make fun of, I don't think he may be a bad candidate for the job. I also don't think he's bad on tv either, but that's because I respect what he's been able to accomplish.

Stuff I'm looking forward to during the off season:

1. A New CEO and GM
This one is for obvious reasons.

2. The Draft
Like it or not, we've got another high draft pick again this year. This year the draft is in LA and although I haven't heard much about the players yet outside of Hall and Seguin, a top 6 pick is still a nice thing to have.

3. UFA Day!
July 1st is Canada Day where I live (a stat holiday), and it's also UFA Day in the hockey world (how nice of my country to recognize the importance eh?). This is going to be an interesting day for the Lightning with some key spots to be filled here (think goal tending and no more Tanguay)

4. October
Who am I kidding, the off season is long enough, I will be pining for hockey mid summer.
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Written by Dani Toth | 12 April 2010

It's that time of the year peoples! We've been doing this for 3 years straight, you'd think right now we'd be pros. So it's draft lottery time, nothing exciting like evaluating prospects at the combine (young men shirtless!) or picking the young'ens at the draft (in suits!), but I think this would be right up former head coach Rick Tocchet's alley, it's a lottery!

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So today at 5pm EST, the Lightning will get to know in what order they pick at the 2010 Entry Draft. We're currently sitting in 25th in the league, which puts us in 6th in the lottery odds, which means if we 'won' the lottery we could move up as high as 2nd pick.*damn you 4 points we got from the Panthers over the weekend*

To read about how the Draft Lotter works, head over to Raw Charge where I wrote up a whole explanation on it.

TSN begins coverage at 7pm, with the lottery taking place at 8pm EST on both TSN and Versus as well as being streamed live online at NHL.com

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Written by Dani Toth | 12 April 2010

The house cleaning has begun, as per TSN the Lightning have fired both GM Brian Lawton and head coach Rick Tocchet today. Vinik has also released a statement regarding the changes on the Lightning website.

My initial thought: Woo!

As my last post said that house cleaning was the way to go, I'm not surprised that Vinik came out with this as soon as the season was done. With a search for a new CEO underway it seems logical that the CEO will pick a GM who will in turn pick a new coach.

Great first move by Vinik.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 April 2010

stamkos.jpg

Well that was fun, non? Stamkos and Crosby ending up tying for the Rocket Richard Trophy with 51 goals each.

The bright side of today's win over the Panthers was the empty net goal that Stamkos got for his 51st goal of the season. Going into today's game Stamkos already knew that Ovechkin had not scored against the Bruins. This allowed Stamkos to go up head to head against Crosby who sat 1 goal back at 49. Crosby scored two goals to bring up his total to 51, putting some pressure on the young Stamkos. And in the 3rd period, he was able to match Crosby with an empty net goal. With 51 goals each, that means they'll share the Rocket Richard Trophy and Ovechkin comes in 2nd. That's all sorts of awesome.

Quote from Stamkos via Lightning Strikes

"Pretty surreal to do it in my second year in the league and share it with a player like Crosby is pretty special," Stamkos said. "And to win it without a guy named Ovechkin in the  mix is pretty special too. He's such a dominant scorer."

And big kudos to Crosby for upping his level of game to go from being a playmaker to being a goal scorer. For anyone who says that there should be a tie breaker, just forget it. Maybe they can implement some rule in the future, but if you are allowed to get empty net goals, then they should be counted. It went in the net and it counted as a goal, non?

With the win today the Lightning dropped in the Draft lottery order down to 25th, which takes them out of the lotto for 1st draft pick. Nevertheless a top 10 draft pick will help the team in the future, and having Stamkos and Hedman in your future already, makes the future look promising.

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Written by Dani Toth | 11 April 2010

Lots to catch up on at The Hockey Bay blog, so let's get a quick recap of what has happened, and after today's game I'll get some season review thoughts in.

Lightning against the Senators

OMG the Lightning won! After blowing 3-0 lead, the Lightning were able to win the the shootout which really doesn't help our lottery pick standing at this time of the year.

Highlight of the night goes to the Mike Smith v. Chris Neil fight:

Goalie fights are awesomesauce. It's too bad Smitty can't attack pucks the way he attacks Chris Neil

Lightning against the Panthers (Saturday)

In the first of the home at home games between the two clubs where the point of the games is to end up with no points, the Lightning wins the game 4-3.

The only story of the night was Stamkos getting his 49th and (!) 50th goal!

Here's #50:

Lightning against the Panthers (Sunday)

So todays game is hte last game of the season, Stamkos is tied with Ovechkin in the race for the Rocket Richard trophy with Crosby right behind at 49. By the time the puck drops tonight, Stamkos will know how many Ovechkin has gotten and will be up against Crosby as both the TBL and Pittsburgh game starts at the same time. Nothing to play for tonight except Stamkos getting goals...Woo Stamkos!

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