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Trade rumors keep players on toes
By TOM JONES
Published March 5, 2006
TAMPA - This is not an easy week for NHL players.
With the trade deadline looming on Thursday, players get nervous every time their telephone rings or the general manager looks in their direction.
Rumors - from those that make sense to the outrageous - will sweep through every locker room. In the past few months, Lightning stars such as Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis have heard their names in rumors even though there's virtually no chance either will be traded.
"We're not looking to make a lot of major changes," coach John Tortorella said. "We would like to add some depth on our blue line along with 29 other teams in this league. But we're not looking to make changes to the core."
Still, Tortorella knows players can't escape the rumors.
"I think our job as coaches is to make sure their heads are as clear as they can possibly be because there are so many things being talked about certain players," Tortorella said. "It's tough for a player. It's their livelihood. Are they going to pick up and move? Our job is just to try to keep them focused on the job at hand."
Last week, general manager Jay Feaster said the Lightning is searching for depth on defense, but Tortorella also pointed out that there is more to it than finding someone who can play.
"You're always looking to improve your team, but an important thing for us is the chemistry of that locker room," Tortorella said. "I think we have a solid locker room in there and it's important to (keep it that way.)"
NEW ADDITION: If you tuned into the Lightning's radio broadcast Saturday, you did not hear regular play-by-play announcer Dave Mishkin. Instead, for the first time in team history, the Lightning had a simulcast broadcast with the television feed, including announcers Rick Peckham and Bobby "Chief" Taylor, being broadcast over the radio.
Mishkin was home with his wife, Dulcie, after the couple had their first child Wednesday. Eli Chamberlain Mishkin, a son, arrived three weeks early and weighed 6 pounds, 1 ounce.
The Lightning said Mishkin could be back for Monday's home game against the Senators, but the Lightning might employ the simulcast for the first two games of a five-game trip that begins Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
The pregame, postgame and intermissions, however, will remain separate with Jason Dixon, the team's director of broadcasting and programming, manning the radio duties.
THE ROSTER: Forward Norm Milleywas the Lightning's healthy scratch for the third consecutive game.