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The Lightning Insider

by Lightning Insider / Tampa Bay Lightning
Let become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team throughout the 2007-08 season to provide you with a positive look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will post the latest following practices and morning skates, and he’ll make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news.  Have a question or comment for The Insider?  Send me an email at

I’ve been very neglectful about keeping up with the emails, which have been coming in at a faster clip with the trade deadline approaching on Tuesday and the rumors swirling around the Lightning. I apologize for not answering some of the questions, which are now outdated and dealt with issues that have past.

So, here we go…

First off, I want to deal with the rumor (which both Michael and Lucy emailed me about) that was thrown out last week that Vincent Lecavalier would ask for a trade during the summer (the rumor was quickly dismissed). First of all, you need to consider the source – a reporter from Toronto who has a history of taking shots at the Lightning whenever possible.

Secondly, the writer in question said Montreal was one of the places that Lecavalier would ask to go. To me, that statement confirmed that the rumor was a complete fabrication, because Lecavalier, a Montreal native, has made it clear that he’s proud to be from there and he enjoys spending time there in the summer, but he would never want to deal with the media circus that would accompany playing for Les Habitants. Remember, Vinny grew up a Red Wings fan…

Speaking of rumors, I’ve received multiple emails (Marvin, Justen, etc.) asking what the Lightning will do at the trade deadline. All I can say is put on your seatbelts on Tuesday, because every indication is that the Lightning will be active. The moves that take place at this season’s deadline, combined with what happens during the summer, will shape the Lightning for years to come in my opinion. Media are speculating about as many as six current players possibly being on the move, which indicates the Bolts will undoubtedly be active.

Should be interesting!

Donnie asked when Ryan Craig, who underwent knee surgery, might be ready to return.

Unfortunately, “Craiger” is not expected to be ready this season according to the original prognosis following the surgery. While it’s nice to have him around in the locker room every day, lifting weights and riding the bike as he rehabs, he won’t be able to throw the jersey on again until training camp next season.

Laronda wondered why goaltender Johan Holmqvist places his mask on the ice during the National Anthem.

Every goaltender is different as far as their routine, Laronda. Some place their mask on top of the net during the anthem, while others hold it in their hand. Johan’s decision to place it on the ice is just his personal preference as he shows respect to the anthem.

Speaking of Holmqvist, Chris asked how the goaltending rotation is decided.

Basically, Chris, it’s only based on one thing – John Tortorella’s gut feelings. Tortorella consults with goaltending coach Jeff Reese on a daily basis then decides who will play the next game. Don’t try to figure out the system, because just when you think you’ve figured it out, Tortorella surprises you.

James asked why the Lightning haven’t replaced Tim Taylor as captain, and if the team will offer fan packages for the two-game series in Prague against the New York Rangers next October.

As far as Tim Taylor’s captaincy is concerned, Tim’s still a member of the team who is working to try to get back on the ice. Tim’s been around more and more lately, skating on his own before practices and occupying a stall in the locker room once again. Tim earned the captaincy based on his leadership, and he doesn’t deserve to have it taken away because of injury. That said, if Tim decides to hang them up following this season then a new captain will need to be chosen, with Lecavalier an obvious front-runner.

Regarding Prague, the team has indicated that some kind of travel package will be put in place, but Bolts PR Director Jay Preble said the details haven’t been finalized as of yet.

Finally, Janis was in St. Louis for the Lightning win earlier this month and she visited the hotel in Union Station to try to get some autographs from Lightning players, only to discover the team wasn’t staying there.

Janis, the Lightning stayed at the hotel in Union Station for several years, but made the switch to another area hotel in 2000. The change occurred after the team received threats against one of its players by someone based in St. Louis, so the Bolts have stayed elsewhere on every visit since. While the player who received the threats is no longer in the league, the team likes the new location better.

That’s it for today; I’ll try to keep up with your questions a little better in the future.

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