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Lightning courts Ledyard


© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 5, 2001

The Lightning has taken tangible steps to bring unrestricted free agent Grant Ledyard back to the team.

The defenseman's agent, Lawrence Rauch, said Wednesday he has spoken to Tampa Bay about a reunion.

"I have talked to the Lightning and will talk to them again," Rauch said. "It seemed to be a very good fit. We'll see if it could be a good fit again."

Ledyard played 14 games for Tampa Bay last season after being signed Feb. 1 as a free agent, and had two goals, two assists and was minus-5. He was traded to the Stars in March for the playoff run.

General manager Rick Dudley has praised the 39-year-old's work ethic and his mentoring of 20-year-old Tampa Bay defenseman Kristian Kudroc. Ledyard, who made $250,000, said when he was traded he wouldn't mind returning to the Lightning.

Tampa Bay needs a seasoned veteran because of the uncertain status of Petr Svoboda, who is dealing with post-concussion syndrome.

The Lightning also needs a scoring forward, and former Lightning forward Mike Sillinger is available. The 30-year-old, who played for the Panthers and Senators last season, is the league's No. 2 faceoff man over the past two seasons at 59.4 percent. He scored 23 goals for Tampa Bay and Florida in 1999-2000.

AVALANCHE: Ray Bourque has no regrets about retirement, even if he's leaving a lot of money behind. "If the Colorado Avalanche were going to accept me coming back, I would have made $6.5-million, so it wouldn't have been any different in terms of what I got this year. And that was plenty. It wasn't about money for me right now." He spoke at a news conference after showing off the Stanley Cup to about 1,000 people in Saint-Laurent, the Montreal suburb where he grew up.

CANADIENS: Yanic Perreault, a center who spent two seasons with Toronto, signed a three-year, $8.4-million contract. The team also re-signed defenseman Stephane Robidas to a two-year, $1.17-million deal. Perreault, an unrestricted free agent, earned $1.1-million last season when he had 24 goals and 28 assists in 76 games for the Maple Leafs. He had another two goals and three assists in 11 playoff games. "Many teams contacted us about him, but not the Lightning," said Perrault's agent, Jay Fee.

KINGS: Free-agent right wing Steve Heinze was signed to a three-year contract.

MAPLE LEAFS: The team signed defenseman Anders Eriksson, who became an unrestricted free agent after Florida didn't make him a qualifying offer. The 26-year-old was third among Panthers defenseman with 21 assists in 60 games last season.

RANGERS: Eric Lindros confirmed he has added the team to his wish list of places to be traded. Lindros said he spoke to general manager Glen Sather at length on June 28 and Friday and is under the impression Sather needs to work out a deal with Flyers general manager Bob Clarke.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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