St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Lightning

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Feaster not yet shopping around

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 10, 2002

TAMPA -- Don't expect any Lightning trades any time soon. Two factors are at play.

Tampa Bay general manager Jay Feaster said he is inclined to wait until at least the 20-game mark to evaluate the team's needs before trying to trade. And the most visible of the Lightning's possible trading partners has many suitors and is in no hurry to deal.

Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell, because of his team's fast start, does not have to move Kyle McLaren until the perfect trade surfaces. It is believed Feaster has had discussions with O'Connell about the unhappy defenseman.

When the Lightning deals, it appears the priority will be to add a defenseman, even if only for depth. With Kristian Kudroc expected to miss another 3-4 weeks with a concussion sustained in his first game for AHL Springfield, Tampa Bay is undermanned on the back line.

With the Lightning playing well, Feaster will be careful not to disrupt team chemistry, making a splashy trade even more unlikely. And don't forget the ever-present budget constraints.

"We're going to sit back and look at it the next 10 games. We know where our weaknesses are," Feaster said, adding he is more inclined to "stay out of the way."

HATS OFF: When captain Dave Andreychuk tossed his helmet to the ice to celebrate Vinny Lecavalier's third goal in Friday's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh, he was extending a courtesy a former teammate once paid him.

Mike Foligno recognized an Andreychuk hat trick the same way when they played in Buffalo.

"It wasn't just about you," Andreychuk said. "It was about the whole team, about everybody being excited for you. You get the hat trick, and everybody is just as excited as you, which is a good feeling."

POINTING THE WAY: Coach John Tortorella wants wing Fredrik Modin to shoot more. Against the Penguins, teammate Ben Clymer left Modin little choice.

As the two broke in on Johan Hedberg on a 2-on-1, Clymer pointed toward the net, urging Modin to shoot, and Modin ripped a slap shot past Hedberg from the top of the circle.

"You could see Freddie finally clicking, 'I've got to shoot this thing, because Benny doesn't want the (darn) thing,' " Tortorella said. "(Modin) has got to think that first, and to me it's a mind-set.

"He is a goalscorer, he is not a playmaker. When he becomes a playmaker, he's a very average hockey player, so we need him to shoot that puck."

Clymer downplayed his gesture.

"The defenseman was cheating toward me," Clymer said. "It was the right thing for Freddie to shoot."

FEDOTENKO CONTRIBUTES: He had scored one goal in 11 games before Saturday's contest and was taken off Lecavalier's line. But wing Ruslan Fedotenko still has an impact.

Against the Penguins, his defense sparked some offense. Fedotenko's dive with an outstretched stick knocked the puck out of the defensive zone and right to Vinny Prospal, who led a rush that ended with a Lecavalier goal that gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 third-period lead.

"We were struggling in our zone a little bit and I had a chance to clear the zone and chip it down the boards," Fedotenko said.

"Just a great play by Ruslan," Lecavalier said.

NO RESPECT: It wasn't enough for Sports Illustrated to pick the Lightning last in its NHL preview issue. Last week the magazine compared Tampa Bay's fast start to Pittsburgh's and predicted the Lightning would falter first.

Friday's victory over the Penguins came days after the issue hit newsstands.

"It's going to be there," Modin said. "We're playing really well. A lot of the reporters around the league, from day one, they had us in the last spot. ...

"But we feel good, and hopefully we can continue to play the way we have and prove them wrong."

The Lightning scratched left wing Chris Dingman and defenseman Brad Lukowich for Saturday's game. Chicago scratched right wings Theo Fleury and Ryan VandenBussche and left wing Shawn Thornton.

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