Come on back, Phil

A couple of days ago, Damian at the Times via his Lightning Strikes blog reported (and I cannot find this post any more, bloggers don't remove even false reports - only clarify them) that Doug Maclean had been in touch with former Lightning member (fleetingly former Lightning team member who grudgingly joined the team to begin with and played for one and a quarter seasons here and yet the guy draws raves like he is a career Bolt in some circles. I don't get this) Dino Cicarelli about joining Absolute Hockey's ownership group. Dino reportedly nixed the idea (ho hum) but the entire concept just made me more resolute on who should find an in with Doug, Jim and Oren.

Phil Esposito.

I don't hold Phil in the highest regard as a GM but I do know Phil is the father of the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise. He worked his ass off to get a team in this very non-traditional market. He's poured more love, more blood, more sweat and tears into the Lightning as an executive and GM than anyone who has played for this team... If there is anyone that should be approached for approaching sake about joining Absolute Hockey, it's Phil.

Of course, with Phil (as with Doug) I get the fears of hand-in-the-cookie-jar type dealings with the Lightning roster from ownership. I don't want Jay Feaster or John Tortorella second guessed by the higher ups -- I trust them (though seldomly question their judgment) and believe they know what they are doing. Having such a hands-on owner (and I expect Phil or Doug to be as such) could cause trouble.

Yet I can't get past the fact this (the Lightning) is Phil's baby. Even if he just invests a dollar a year, get him back into the fold please? It's only fitting.

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