tampabay.com

Procedure dictates Burke's round trip

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published October 4, 2006


TAMPA - Sean Burke was back with the Lightning - for one night, anyway.

The goaltender, who last week was sent to AHL Springfield, was put on re-entry waivers Monday to see if another team would claim him. When that didn't happen by noon Tuesday, Burke officially was Tampa Bay's 23rd player.

"And because the league does not allow paper transactions," general manager Jay Feaster said, "we will fly him in and have him spend the night at a hotel and send him back."

Burke was scheduled to fly to Tampa on Tuesday and return to Springfield today.

The transaction has no effect on the Lightning's salary cap because Burke's $1.6-million salary already applies.

Had a team claimed Burke, 39, on re-entry waivers, it would have had to pick up half his salary and Tampa Bay would have saved a like amount off the cap.

Feaster has said he will put Burke on re-entry waivers occasionally to try to move him.

A trade would be the ideal solution, but Burke's contract makes that a nonstarter as teams are not permitted to pay part of the salary of players they traded.

Dimaio UPDATE: The team put Rob DiMaio on injured reserve, which keeps him from being counted toward the 23-player limit, and Feaster said he likely will let the right wing return home to Dallas to recuperate with his family.

DiMaio sustained a Grade II concussion last week against the Canadiens from what seemed a cheap-shot elbow from Guillaume Latendresse that bounced DiMaio's head off the side board glass.

Feaster said DiMaio still has headaches and dizziness and likely will be put on the long-term injury list, which means he will be out at least 10 games and 24 days, though the Lightning has said it expects DiMaio out at least four to six weeks.

ROAD WARRIORS: The Lightning opens on the road for the first time since 2002, when Vinny Prospal's overtime goal beat the Panthers.

Coach John Tortorella said he doesn't mind starting on the road.

"It's a lot of pressure," he said of opening at home. "We'll have pressure on our opening night Saturday, but we'll already have played a game. That opening night game of the regular season, I think it just adds a little bit more pressure to the home team."

And simplifies thing for the visitors.

"You're not trying to put on a show for the home people," Tortorella said. "Hopefully that will be our mind-set as we go to Atlanta as far as keeping it simple and playing hard."

UPHILL BATTLE: PinnacleSports.com, which calls itself the Internet's largest sports betting site, says the Lightning is a 38-to-1 shot to win the Stanley Cup.

The Sabres are favored at 8-to-1 followed by the Senators at 9-to-1 and Ducks 10-to-1. The Capitals are the longest shot at 88-to-1.