I've been more than happy with the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune the last 3 weeks + for granting the NHL's rebirth coverage and all the hot stove talk at least got some minor mention within the papers.
Unfortunately, I believe the Hockey hot stove in said local papers is all but done.
Preseason NFL coverage has taken a front seat, along with College Football.... The Nextel Cup along with Golf have also taken away from the speculation and wonder of the Lightning and their negotiations with Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and the rest.
There was a brief mention in the Trib that Lecavalier, St. Louis, Dan Boyle and Brad Richards are at a Team Canada camp in British Columbia this week.... In the article that mentions this, Eric Erlendsson heralds Lightning GM Jay Feaster for what he's done despite the national naysayers (hi Cousin Larry Brooks -- that was a nice jab you took at the team while talking about Lecavalier yesterday).
One has to speculate if Lecavalier, Boyle and Richards will talk things over with St. Louis -- who's own contract negotiations aren't progressing very well from previous reports. Martin has indicated he wants to be back in Tampa Bay, but it will likely come down to the numbers involved in contractual negotiations that is giving negotiations between Marty and the Lightning a bad rap.
In the meantime, amid the growing silence, I just hope something major happens (and this time it's positive) with the team so we can get back on the pages of the local rags. There certainly is enough interest in the Bay area to speculate about the team and give it more coverage (how many have heard about the Lightning's ticket lottery for opening night?) . The silence of things suggests not only are area newspapers unaware of this but they are lacking in ideas of how to indulge hockey fans.