Union meetings will take place in New York, Wednesday and Thursday and over 250 players are expected to attend. Adam Hall, Nate Thompson, Mathieu Garon, Brian Lee, Matt Carle and Marc-Andre Bergeron are believed to be making the trip to represent the Lightning.
If an agreement is not reached, the lockout will officially start at midnight on Sunday. The Lightning players are readying themselves for a work stoppage. They will not be able to enter the Tampa Bay Times Forum or any other team facility.
“Most players said they will be sticking around the Tampa Bay area. Many said they will look into playing in Europe.
Wing Marty St. Louis said he is having “ongoing” talks with European teams. Center Steven Stamkos said his talks have been “preliminary.” Left wing Ryan Malone, right wing Teddy Purcell, defensemen Sami Salo and Victor Hedman and goaltender Anders Lindback also said they will look to play in Europe if the lockout drags on.
“You’re always optimistic, but at the same token, the players just aren’t going to roll over,” said Adam Hall, the team’s union representative. “The last deal, we gave a lot of concessions and it was meant to fix and address problems the owners claimed were broken in the system. So, this was, in effect, their deal, and seven years later after all these revenues they’re claiming the system is broken again because their plan that they claimed to work, didn’t work.”
“It just seems like every time there’s a problem they come to the union and ask players to give concessions,” Hall added.”
Captain Vincent Lecavalier has stated that he will fly to his Montreal home on Friday and wait and see what happens and decide whether or not to play in Europe.
The Lightning players that need to clear waivers will almost certainly be signed to AHL deals. Those players are Mike Angelidis, JT Wyman, Keith Aulie, Matt Taormina, Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Evan Oberg.
Bolts’ players JT Brown, Radko Gudas, Dustin Tokarski, Mark Barberio, Alex Killorn, Riku Helenius and Cory Conacher will be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate on Saturday evening.
While both management and the players are preparing for the normal start of training camp, the Lightning skaters are being very public about their “alternate” plans.
About the Author: WB Philp is a published hockey writer who has a built in disdain for Barry Melrose. He covered the Detroit sports teams for many years until he came to his senses and moved to the Sunshine State. He is a true puckhead on a mission from God (Gordie Howe) to make hockey relevant in the south. He lives in Hockey Bay USA and covers the Lightning full time. Did I mention he hates Barry Melrose?