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Saturday, Oct 21, 2017
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Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning mum on sale

TAMPA - Lightning officials declined to comment on an online report that the NHL has been in touch with Boston financial investor Jeffrey Vinik about purchasing the team. The report, published by The Hockey News citing unnamed sources, suggested the price of the sale would come in at $170 million and speculated that a deal would come at the expense of captain Vinny Lecavalier, who would be asked to waive his no-trade clause to allow the payroll to be trimmed. Lecavalier, in the first year of an 11-year extension that pays him $10 million a season for the next six seasons, was unavailable for comment after the team's Friday morning skate. Lightning co-owner Oren Koules declined to comment through a team spokesman.
Vinik, 50, has been a minority owner of the Boston Red Sox since 2002. The Hockey News report said the league is negotiating the sale of the Lightning and the 5.5-acre parcel of land adjacent to the St. Pete Times Forum from the OK Hockey Group to Vinik. The report said there was conflicting information about whether a sale was imminent. According to multiple online reports, OK Hockey has defaulted on its loan payments to Palace Sports & Entertainment, the team's previous owner. And, according to a report last week by the Sports Business Journal, the NHL advanced the team revenue-sharing money for the 2009-10 season to cover January payroll expenses. Koules recently denied that the league advanced the team money during an interview with ESPN reporter Pierre LeBrun. Off the roster Lightning D Lukas Krajicek, who was sent down to Norfolk of the American Hockey League last month, was placed on unconditional waivers Friday. If Krajicek is not claimed, the remainder of his contract could be terminated, making him an unrestricted free agent. Krajicek, who signed a one-year contract for $1.5 million during the summer, left the team Wednesday without explanation, and if he doesn't report back that is grounds for termination of his deal. The 26-year-old former first-round pick could finish the season in Europe or Russia, but he also would be free to sign with another NHL team. Lightning general manager Brian Lawton did not comment on the situation, and Krajicek's agent, former Tampa Bay D Petr Svoboda, did not return a message seeking comment. In the bag As Tampa Bay's power play has started creeping up in the league standings, second-year C Steven Stamkos has seen his power-play production pick up as well. Stamkos has utilized his blistering one-timer from the left circle to move into third in the league with 11 power-play goals. "That's definitely an element in his golf bag that's nice to have," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "He's getting pretty close to (Washington's Alex) Ovechkin on releasing his shot from that similar spot, Stammer's got a lot of goals for us from that spot." While Stamkos didn't cash in Friday, the 19-year-old picked up an assist on Tampa Bay's opening goal to pick up his 100th career point in his 132nd game. The assist also increased his scoring streak to five games. Nuts and bolts Three representatives of the Philadelphia Flyers were in attendance for Friday's game, including senior VP Bobby Clarke. ... LW Todd Fedoruk and LW Stephane Veilleux were scratched. Erik Erlendsson
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