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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.