Oren Koules is in the stands, watching his son Miles perform during the NHL's research and development camp this week in Toronto. For the past several months, the former Lightning owner has been dealing with... well, lets face it, he's been dealing with the train wreck that is Charlie Sheen and the end of Sheen's tenure on the Koules produced show Two and A Half Men.
Besides that, there hasn't been much on what's going on with Oren during his post-ownership tenure.
Koules was also laying the groundwork on business. He said that he talked with commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday about potentially returning to the league as a team owner.
"Gary and I talked today. I have a lot of things to sort through as far as teams," Koules told Sporting News. "A team looks good and then you peek under the hood -- like anything."
Fans are going to react in different ways to this news. Some may not care, because Jeff Vinik is in charge in Tampa and it's not like Koules is coming back. Others will exclaim (through profanity or other verbiage) that they believe this to be a negative idea.
Still others may react with sympathetic understanding: Koules was though of as the better of the two managing owners. Co-owner Len Barrie was more often the gonzo, over-involved, impulsive element that was responsible for Dan Boyle being traded, and nearly dealing away Steven Stamkos to the New York Rangers during his rookie year.
Koules is quoted further and more elaborately on Puck Daddy, where he acknowledges his ownership issues:
"I had two problems. I had a partner that went bananas and the second problem is that the economy kicked us in the balls," he said. "We went from 38 million in tickets to 17 million."
Whatever your reaction, Koules still has a rapport with players in Tampa. He obviously still has a love for the game. If he treats his time in Tampa as a lesson (and looks strongly at what's been done in Tampa since his departure), Oren may very well deserve a second chance at owning an NHL team.
But he's taking a wait-and-see approach to things, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement (as well as the state of the economy) is still in question.
But there is no shortage of available hockey teams looking for investors at current, and you could do worse than what Koules achieved with former GM Brian Lawton in Tampa during the second half of his ownership tenure in Tampa.