Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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New Tampa Bay Lightning commercial featuring pitchman (and Tampa resident) Anthony Sullivan
Posted Mar 8, 2013 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Mar 8, 2013 at 11:07 AM
This is pretty funny stuff, featuring well known pitchman Anthony Sullivan of OxiClean fame along with Steven Stamkos, Teddy Purcell and Ryan Malone “pitching’’ a new four-game ticket plan. A well done production
Five Syracuse players coming to Tampa Bay Lightning training camp
Posted Jan 12, 2013 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jan 12, 2013 at 02:01 AM
While the full allotment of players reporting to the start of Lightning training camp likely will not be known until late Saturday, at least some of them were told Friday night.
Following Friday’s Syracuse Crunch shootout victory against Norfolk, Syracuse general manager Julien BriseBois announced that five players were confirmed to be coming to Tampa for the start of camp on Sunday – Keith Aulie, Cory Conacher, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Matt Taormina and Mike Angelidis. All but Conacher have been playing for Tampa Bay’s top minor league affiliate in the American Hockey League during the lockout on AHL only contracts because they would have to have cleared waivers to be eligible.
With the lockout expected to be officially lifted sometime after 8 a.m. on Saturday, when the NHL Player’s Association will complete voting to ratify the deal, those four players will need to be placed on waivers in order to be eligible to remain with the Crunch if they do not earn a spot on the Lightning roster. Conacher, the reigning AHL MVP after leading the league in goals last season, is expected to make a push for one of the open spots at forward.
BriseBois told the Syracuse Post Standard that more players would be recalled to training camp following Saturday’s game but did not reveal which players would be called up.
Tampa Bay Lightning to host part-time job fair
Posted Jan 8, 2013 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 10:09 AM
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Times Forum will hold a part-time job fair on Thursday, January 10 from 5-9 p.m. on the Promenade Level of the arena. The fair is being held to fill positions for the upcoming Lightning hockey season as well as other Times Forum events.
The Lightning and Times Forum will be hiring for a number of positions, including guest services, security, arena conversion, housekeeping, ticket office, concessions and retail to name a few. Those interested in applying must first log on to http://www.tampabaylightning.com to complete an application. Each applicant will then be informed of their meeting time based on their interests and department manager availability.
Those coming for interviews should park in the Forum West Lot (paved lot adjacent to the parking garage). Applicants should enter through the Premium Entrance next to the McDonald’s Ticket Office and take the elevator to the third floor to the check-in table.
The NHL lockout is over, hockey is back
Posted Jan 6, 2013 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jan 6, 2013 at 08:11 AM
After nearly four months, the key to breaking the NHL lockout came in the wee hours of the morning.
Just before 6 a.m. Sunday word began to emerge that following a marathon 16-hour bargaining session in New York a tentative deal between the NHL and NHL Player’s Association has been reached that will salvage a shortened season.
“We have reached an agreement of a framework on a new CBA,’’ NHL commissioner told reporters in the lobby of a New York hotel around 5:45 a.m. “There is still a lot of work to be done but the framework is complete.’’
Many have cited the work of Federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh for helping forge the deal. Beckenbaugh spent a good portion of Friday shuttling back and forth between the league offices and the NHLPA hotel attempting to broker a deal.
“I want to recognize the extraordinary contribution that my colleague, Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director for Mediation Services, made in providing assistance of the highest caliber to the parties throughout the most critical periods in the negotiations,’’ Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen said in a statement.
While there is no immediate word on when the season would begin – an announcement is expected in the coming days – abbreviated training camps are expected to open at some point later this week. When the schedule is announced will depend on how quickly the language for the new deal can put into writing and the new deal is put forth for ratification by both the NHL and NHLPA.
It is expected that the shortened season will consist of either 50 or 48 games, all conference based. Bettman said that information should be available either later on Sunday or early Monday.
Various reports indicate the new collective bargaining agreement is 10 years with an opt-out option after eight years. The salary cap for the 2013-14 season – a big sticking point throughout the negotiations – is reported to be set at $64.3 million with a salary floor of $44 million. In order to help teams get down to that number, two compliance buyout options will be available to teams in order to get out from big money contracts. Those buyouts will not count against a team’s salary cap but will come out of the player’s share of hockey related revenue.
After NHL talks break off, league issues statement from owner Jeff Vinik, 3 others
Posted Dec 6, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Dec 6, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Statement from Jeff Vinik, others are below
Tampa Bay Lightning Chairman and Governor Jeff Vinik today issued the follow statement today:
“After working this week with our players toward what we hoped would be a new agreement, owners presented a proposal we believed would benefit those great players, ownership, and, ultimately, our fans for many years to come. While trust was built and progress was made along the way, unfortunately, our proposal was rejected by the Union’s leadership. My love for the game is only superseded by my commitment to our fans and I hold out hope we can soon join with our players and return the game back to its rightful place on the ice.”
Statement from Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh)
The idea to put players and owners together in the same room was a refreshing idea. Commissioner Bettman should be thanked for proposing it and the Fehrs should be thanked for agreeing to it.
The players came with a strong desire to get back to playing hockey.
They were professional and did a good job of expressing their concerns and listening to ours.
We wanted to move quickly and decisively. We have all spent too much time without any real progress at the expense of our fans, our sponsor and the communities we serve. It was time to make bold moves and get a deal.
Many people think we got over our skis and they are probably right, but we wanted to do everything we could to get back to hockey now. We didn’t hold back.
We made substantial movement on our end quickly, but unfortunately that was not met with the same level of movement from the other side. The players asked us to be patient and keep working with them. It’s not what they do and they wanted us to know they were committed. We understood and appreciated their situation. We came back with an aggressive commitment to pensions which we felt was well received. We needed a response on key items that were important to us, but we were optimistic that we were down to very few issues. I believe a deal was within reach.
We were therefore surprised when the Fehrs made a unilateral and “non-negotiable” decision – which is their right, to end the player/owner process that has moved us farther in two days than we moved at any time in the past months.
I want to thank the players involved for their hard work as we tried to reach a deal.
I hope that going backwards does not prevent a deal.
Statement from Mark Chipman (Winnipeg)
Mark Chipman, Chairman and Governor of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, today issued the following statement:
“I’d like to thank the NHL for giving me the opportunity to participate in this very important process.
I came here optimistic that we could find a solution. That sense of optimism grew after our first few sessions, including the small group discussions late last night.
Regrettably, we have been unable to close the divide on some critical issues that we feel are essential to the immediate and long-term health of our game.
While I sense there are some members of the players association that understand our perspective on these issues, clearly there are many that don’t.
I am deeply disappointed that we were unable to bring this extremely unfortunate situation to a successful conclusion and I wish to apologize to our fans and sponsors for letting them down.”
Statement from Larry Tanenbaum (Toronto)
“I was pleased to be asked to join the Player/Owner negotiation sessions. I had hoped that my perspective both as a businessman and as one of the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs would be helpful to the process.
Like all other teams, this work stoppage has hurt our fans, our employees and our business. Neither the owners nor the players will ever recover the losses incurred with this work stoppage.
I understand how important it is to have a strong league and 30 healthy teams. I must admit that I was shocked at how things have played out over the last 48 hours. The sessions on Tuesday felt cooperative with an air of goodwill. I was optimistic and conveyed my optimism to the Board of Governors at our Wednesday meeting. However, when we reconvened with the players on Wednesday afternoon, it was like someone had thrown a switch.
The atmosphere had completely changed. Nevertheless, the owners tried to push forward and made a number of concessions and proposals, which were not well-received. I question whether the union is interested in making an agreement.
I am very disappointed and disillusioned. Had I not experienced this process myself, I might not have believed it. Like all hockey fans, I am hopeful this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. I miss our game.”