St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Lightning
tampabay.com
Print storySubscribe to the Times

GM has payroll flexibility

By JOANNE KORTH
Published January 30, 2004

TAMPA - Energized by Tuesday's long-awaited trade for a top-four defenseman, Lightning CEO Tom Wilson indicated Thursday that ownership would be receptive if general manager Jay Feaster suggested another deal this season.

The Lightning acquired veteran Darryl Sydor from Columbus on Tuesday for center Alexander Svitov, the No. 3 overall pick in 2001. The move increased payroll but satisfied a two-year need for a top-four defenseman.

"This has sort of been a sore spot for the fans, the media and for us," said Wilson, on hand for Sydor's debut after speaking at a convention in Tampa.

"When we came in here, we took out ads in your newspapers with 10 promises to the fans. And the last piece was, "Are you going to spend the money to get a real player?' People ask, "Was it a battle for (Feaster) to convince you to do this?' No.

"We knew Jay wasn't going to come to us until he had the guy that was going to be the perfect fit. Jay has so much credibility. If he came in tomorrow and had another one, we would probably, more than likely, say, "Sure."'

Wilson also said he expects other unresolved issues to fall "like a house of cards," including the contract status of Feaster and coach John Tortorella and his staff. Feaster has an option for next season, and the coaches' contracts expire at the end of this season. Also, the Lightning needs a minor-league affiliate.

"I think that's all going to be handled in short order," Wilson said.

PRATT SITS: With Sydor in the lineup, Nolan Pratt is the odd man out.

"Oh, he's mad," Tortorella said.

Pratt, a seventh-year player in his third season with the Lightning, has been in this position before. He was a healthy scratch for the first 13 games last season and released during the offseason. Re-signed to a one-year contract, Pratt was one of nine who played in all of the first 49 games.

"He does not want to be a guy who's going to sit out the next 20 games, and he let it be known to me," Tortorella said. "But he understands the situation, and he understands being a pro. He's not a disturbance within the club. He is going to continue to work and just wait to be called on again."

PLAYER APPEARANCE: Center Brad Richards will sign autographs from 5-6 p.m. today at SDI Diagnostic Imaging at Swann and Howard streets in south Tampa. Dave Andreychuk had been scheduled to appear.

ODDS AND ENDS: Defenseman Darren Rumble was assigned to AHL Hershey for a two-game conditioning stint and will return for Monday's game at Philadelphia. ... Left wing Andre Roy was a healthy scratch. ... Linesman Derek Amell left with 2:15 left in the first after being struck in the leg by a puck. X-rays were negative.

[Last modified January 30, 2004, 01:32:11]

Today's lineup
Lightning

  • Brick added to the Wall
  • GM has payroll flexibility

  • Bucs
  • Bucs sign former Raider receiver

  • Rays
  • Rays buyer: financial whiz who loves baseball
  • Rays partner may spur new energy
  • Much about deal, and what it means, is a mystery
  • New investor? Great, as long as he won't move the team

  • Other sports

    Baseball
  • New boss vows Dodger rebirth

  • College basketball
  • 'Noles can't finish rally
  • Balance helps Florida fight off Tide
  • Pitino returns to team

  • Colleges
  • Colorado accused of ignoring misconduct

  • Golf
  • Accuracy benefits Verplank

  • In brief
  • New drug test may be ready for Athens

  • Motorsports
  • Race officials must act fast

  • NBA
  • Orlando goes cold vs. Nets

  • NFL
  • Bucs sign former Raider receiver
  • Successful from the top down

  • NHL
  • Red Wings win matchup of elite teams

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • How fast is too fast?
  • Snook season opens Sunday

  • Preps
  • 'The ultimate team player'
  • Assistant banned from Countryside
  • Gators have answers for coach
  • One on one with Craig Ferguson
  • Terriers look forward
  • Top talent flocking to Brandon tourney
  • Tough to top this schedule

  • Sports on the Air
  • Remote patrol
  • Pondering Super Bowl hype, or not

  • Super Bowl XXXVIII
  • Notebook: Panthers inspired times two
  • Super without ...
  • Two backs are better than one

  • Tennis
  • Agassi bows out of Open
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111