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Tampa Bay Lightning sale: What they're saying
By the Times staff
Published August 8, 2007
The sale of the
Tampa Bay Lightning
On Tuesday, Aug. 7, Jeff Sherrin,Doug MacLean and Oren Koules were introduced as the principals of Absolute Hockey Enterprises, which signed a purchase agreement to buy the Lightning, the St. Pete Times Forum lease and 5 1/2 acres of surrounding land from Palace Sports & Entertainment for about $200-million.
"I'm as surprised as anybody else. I didn't have any idea about it. But I know Doug really loves the game of hockey. All the things he's talking about, wanting to win, that's reassuring as a player. He wouldn't get involved if he didn't have the love for the game." Lightning center, and MacLean's fellow Prince Edward Island native, Brad Richards
"I've known Doug (MacLean) for a long, long time. If Doug is involved, I'm excited about it. He's definitely a hockey guy and knows his stuff. ... I think it's a positive thing for all of Tampa." Lightning captain Tim Taylor
"I think with (the owners) being in the area, you're going to have more of a beat of the pulse of the team and the community -- just the whole overall picture than if you were somewhere else other than Tampa. We're not just talking about a hockey team -- we're talking about a whole ownership, the fans, the way everything is done. That doesn't hurt at all." Lightning center Ryan Craig
"I think it is important (to have ownership in town). Certainly we've had our previous group in Detroit, they had the Pistons, which it's no secret (Bill Davidson) was more of a basketball person. These guys are hockey people and excited about it and are going to be living there. We'll get to see them probably a lot more than we saw Davidson over five years. I hope that's a good thing." Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle
"I was shocked just like probably everyone else. ... I've talked to quite a few people inside our organization, and everyone seems to be very excited about it. (The ownership group) has fresh new ideas, and I know Doug MacLean, he's going to put his stamp on the team. Everyone is excited about that. On the other hand, we have to be cautious of things we accomplished the last five years here. We don't want to take a few step backward. I look at it as an opportunity for everyone in our organization to maybe take that next step." former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk
"I wish them well and we are pleased to have an ownership group that believes in the area and has a passion for their sport." Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg