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With Koules in charge, the Save Vinny campaign gains steam

Greg Wyshynski -- the Puck Daddy of lore for all to behold -- wades into the mess in Tampa... It's a rundown of what's happened the last 36 hours...

Esposito implores: "Don't trade Vinny"

Tampa Bay Lightning team founder and NHL Hall of Famer Phil Esposito implored ownership not to trade team captain Vincent Lecavalier today in remarks to Ira Kaufman at the Tampa Tribune. "You treat a player like that with loyalty and respect because you know all the other players are watching. It's not Vinny's fault that they're overpaying him. Vinny has kept his mouth shut through all this turmoil. "If they deal Vinny, it's strictly money, period...It can't be spun any other way. If you think you're making your team better, fine, but don't trade Vinny for money. I've been there. It's the wrong thing to do."

Koules still calling the Shots (TBO)

Breaking from Erik at the Trib: Koules to remain in control of the Lightning, and Lawton in control as GM. More to come I would assume, and from other sources, regarding Len Barrie and the fate of team captain Vincent Lecavalier

"The Plan is in Place ... The Lightning will win again" -- May 11th Forum

For all of the doubt that lingers with fans, or worry... or speculation, or skepticism... there is one thing that's for certain: the OK Hockey wanst to engage the fans. On May 11th, at 7PM there will be another one of these open forums at the St. Pete Times Forum arena in downtown Tampa. Oren Koules, Brian Lawton and Rick Tocchet will all be on hand for a question and answer session that night. If any fans are planning to attend this event, please let us know in the comments...

"Paper trail" -- Juvenile?

From Damian at the Times: "It was 2:30 into the period when a cross-checking penalty on Tampa Bay's Evgeny Artyukhin nullified Jeff Halpern's goal that would have tied the score 3-3. All of a sudden the notes came flying out of the suite and into the stands. Fans threw them back. "GM Brian Lawton, who was in the suite with Lightning owner Oren Koules, said he was not responding to the game but to fans who threw something into the open-air suite first. Either way, there were smiles all around as Lawton and the fans laughed the whole thing off." I'm wondering about the context of this paper throwing incident... Was it really just laughed off by the fans? It still seems very unprofessional for an executive to lose it like this and throw things out the window - not inside the suite itself. Anyone at the game able to give more context or thoughts on this?

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