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Dudley: no trades in works


© St. Petersburg Times, published October 2, 2000

Rumors, rumors everywhere and not a trade or free-agent signing to be had.

Remember the scoring forward it seemed inevitable the Lightning would pursue? How about the veteran defenseman?

Well, Lightning general manager Rick Dudley said Sunday he is "not in active pursuit" of any trade or free agent and is comfortable starting the season with the current roster.

"We've decided we want to see what we've got before we go making changes," he said. "We like our guys. Nothing has happened so far to change that."

So much for the notion, then, that Tampa Bay is pursuing free-agent goaltender Garth Snow.

Considering Kevin Weekes' balky back and that 19-year-old Evgeny Konstantinov will be Dan Cloutier's backup for the season's start, it doesn't seem far-fetched.

Dudley even admitted he considered adding a veteran goaltender to be the No. 3.

"But Konstantinov was so good during the exhibitions and the fact that (Dieter) Kochan was brilliant in Detroit (of the IHL) made us feel a little bit more comfortable," he said.

Dudley said he hasn't spoken to Snow's representative since the summer, "and they called us."

Other rumors that won't die: a package, including a goaltender, for Senators superstar Alexei Yashin. Ottawa is short in net, but Dudley said, "I have not talked to Ottawa about Yashin."

Then there is Capitals wing Peter Bondra. Reports out of Washington indicated things were heating up, especially since it appears leading goal-scorer Chris Simon is headed for a long holdout.

But Dudley said the only recent interface he had with general manager George McPhee was to say hello before the teams played Sept. 19 at the Ice Palace.

Dudley said things could change if he gets an intriguing offer, but, "I want to see what our guys can do. They've shown speed and grit and work ethic. ... This is a hell of a good coaching staff and they will get these guys believing in what they're doing."

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