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Martins to Islanders for conditional pick

By KEVIN KELLY

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2001


OTTAWA, Ontario -- Steve Martins' return to the Lightning after a 21/2-week stint in the IHL turned out to be short-lived.

One game, in fact.

Tampa Bay traded the 28-year-old center to the Islanders on Thursday for a conditional 2001 draft pick, meaning it will get a higher draft pick if New York re-signs Martins after the season.

"The big thing they want me to provide is a little energy, a little spunk out there," said Martins, who was recalled from the Detroit Vipers on Monday and played against Carolina on Wednesday. "That's my game. That's a good thing. At least they know what kind of player I am."

Martins, who scored his first career goal against the Islanders in 1995, had one goal and one assist in 19 games with the Lightning this season. He was expected to play against New Jersey on Thursday at Nassau Coliseum.

"Sometimes you have to do things because it gives a guy a legitimate opportunity, and I think it gives Marty a legitimate opportunity," Lightning general manager Rick Dudley said. "There were no guarantees that in a week or two he wasn't going back to Detroit. ... Personally, I really liked the guy a lot."

It was Tampa Bay's first trade since it made a series of draft-day deals in June, including trading the No. 5 pick in the draft to the Islanders for goaltender Kevin Weekes and defenseman Kristian Kudroc.

UP FOR REVIEW: Dudley said the Lightning sent commissioner Gary Bettman videotape of defenseman Jassen Cullimore being elbowed in the back of the head by Carolina center Ron Francis.

The elbow came in the first period Wednesday, moments after Cullimore checked Francis into the boards by the Lightning bench.

Cullimore blacked out for a short time and had blurred vision for 20 minutes. He did not play the rest of the game.

Francis was given a two-minute minor.

"There was some intent there," Dudley said. "In this day and age, you can't be allowing people to do that. It was real fortunate that it wasn't a career-ender.

"I don't care who the player is. They don't have the right to do that."

SVOBODA UPDATE: Defenseman Petr Svoboda, who has missed the past 10 games with a concussion, had an MRI exam Wednesday. Results were negative.

He also visited a doctor Thursday.

"We're going to monitor him," head medical trainer Dave Boyer said. "He's coming along. He's a ton better."

ODDS AND ENDS: Left wing Fredrik Modin, who has a team-leading 19 goals, missed the Ottawa game with a stomach virus. He stayed at the team hotel during the game. ... Left wing Nils Ekman was recalled from the Vipers. He and defenseman Sergey Gusev were healthy scratches.

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