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Rumors and fax fill a day for Dudley

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By GARY SHELTON

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 3, 2001


A glance at Rick Dudley's Palm Pilot. . .

9 A.M. -- Start day. Figure out why team purchased coffeemaker from same place it purchased fax machines.

9:15 -- Work on marketing campaign: "Our Vinny Isn't Castilla!"

9:30 -- Call Bill Davidson. Tell him what a fine idea it was for the Penguins owner to lace them up. Ask if he received his skates yet.

9:45 -- Watch Detroit Vipers game highlights. Hum fight song one more time.

9:50 -- Call lawyers. If Casey Martin can ride in a cart, why not Petr Svoboda?

10 -- Meeting on upcoming NHL draft, in which the Lightning picks third in a two-player draft. Kick furniture. Throw lamp. Repeat.

10:15 -- Deny reports he might trade Vinny Lecavalier to Pittsburgh for Jaromir Jagr.

10:25 -- Check on progress of players in Europe. Assure them it was not their performances that made those cows mad.

10:30 -- Grade Mrs. Putney's Third Grade "How to Draw a Lightning Bolt" contest.

10:45 -- Work on ideas for a new team insignia.

10:50 -- Let the dogs out.

11 -- In an attempt to improve team conditioning, have lounge chairs removed from weight room. Also, the sno-cone machine.

11:10 -- Float rumor that Kokusai Green might purchase the team again, just so people will love you all over again.

11:15 -- Wonder aloud: Why not put Lightning bolts an all players' helmets, so they're as distinctive as the Bengals' helmets?

11:20 -- Remind yourself that the Bengals bite.

11:30 -- Deny reports you might trade Lecavalier to Ottawa for Alexei Yashin.

11:45 -- Move final four crates of "I Am a Stud" T-shirts from office.

NOON -- Luncheon at Rotary Club. Guarantee the playoffs next year.

12:05 -- Tell everyone you were guaranteeing them for the Devils and Avs.

12:30 -- Review video of a rag-tag bunch losing a game to the Rangers. Decide if it is Mystery, Alaska or Enigma, Florida.

1 -- Deny reports you might trade Vinny Lecavalier to Toronto for Mats Sundin.

1:15 -- Meet with agent for Kevin Weekes. Convince him that just because Weekes appeared on All My Children Friday, and even though the Lightning is something of a soap opera, it does not constitute off-season training.

1:17 -- Call Hollywood. Offer to produce a show about potential draft picks: All Europe's Children.

1:30 -- Work on marketing campaign: "Nikolai Khabibulin: The Glory Years."

1:45 -- Snack time. Broccoli and egg whites. Again?

2 -- Look into mirror. Rehearse Where the Streets Have No Name for upcoming duet with Bono at the U2 concert.

2:05 -- Remind everyone you once released an single, Natural Man, while playing for the Sabres. Tell them that Aretha Franklin was way past jealous.

2:15 -- Discuss construction of your new minor-league team. No, not that one. The one in Springfield.

2:20 -- Convince Pavel Kubina that a real good off-season program doesn't include "flip flops."

2:30 -- Make plans to scout Salt Lake Olympics.

2:35 -- No, not the figure skating.

2:40 -- On second thought, maybe that, too.

2:45 -- Read new Berlitz guide to Venice. See if it mentions defensemen.

3 -- Deny reports you might trade Vinny Lecavalier to Montreal for Expos.

3:10 -- Tell agent for Khabibulin that two more games over the next two years will not be reason to renegotiate.

3:15 -- Continue search for aggressive, bloodthirsty defender. See if John Lynch can skate.

3:30 -- Explain to secretary, one more time, that the team didn't technically lose 50 games this year even though it finished second in 52 games.

3:35 -- Also explain how the Titanic didn't technically sink.

3:40 -- Work on marketing campaign: "Be There When We Win a Faceoff!"

3:45 -- Order new jerseys. See what advances have been made in blood removal.

4 -- Call agent for Rob Blake to inquire about his possible freedom.

4:05 -- This time, make sure it's the agent for the hockey player, not the actor.

4:06 -- Just to be sure, keep your eye on the sparrow.

4:15 -- Resume argument with Ron Campbell over whether the Bucs need another backup tailback.

4:20 -- Deny Vinny Lecavalier trade rumors to Washington for Michael Jordan.

4:30 -- Clean trophy case.

4:31 -- Discuss getting Martin LaPointe from Detroit.

4:32 -- Discuss getting more lapoints from anywhere.

5 -- Check eBay. Review high bid for that darned fax machine.

5:15 -- Work on opening night promotion: The St. Pete High Band on Ice!

5:30 -- Deny Vinny Lecavalier is going to stay in Europe "so he can hang out with Barry Sanders."

6 -- Write letter to Paul Tagliabue: Why the NFL needs a penalty box.

6:30 -- Assure everyone that this time, Daren Puppa's back is fine. Oops. Wait. That was the campaign for the years 1993-1999.

6:45 -- Watch Slap Shot one more time. Resume debate over the most talented Hansen brother.

8:15 -- Deny Lecavalier nothing. Sign the darn guy.

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