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Cory the Mercinary is Pissed

Cory Stillman has a problem with the Lightning.... It's relayed to the readers at NHL.com:

"I don't know much about their thinking. They had different plans. Whether it was to free up money to sign other guys or what, I don't know the whole scenario, but I'm gone."

Lets review what happened with Cory Stillman - in his acquisition as well as his departure from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tampa Bay lost right wing Vaclav Prospal to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks... Prospal got a huge signing bonus and a yearly pay that was comparable to what Tampa Bay was offering. Jay Feaster, looking to fill the void, traded for Cory Stillman... Stillman was expendable in St.Louis because he was an RFA looking for a payday on a roster that was already bloated with mega-million dollar stars.

Stillman got a one year contract from the Lightning worth 2.7 million dollars and avoided arbitration, that was more than what Prospal was going to make with the Ducks that year (signing bonus not included).

Cory did what he was brought in to do -- filled the void that Prospal left and was expecting a huge payout for his services after the conclusion of the 2003-04 season. The Bolts signed everyone who was arbitration eligible - sans Stillman. Instead of giving into the payout that Stillman was looking for in Arbitration -- the Lightning re-acquired Prospal from the Ducks for a song and let Stillman go. The re-acquisition actually saved the team money, brought back a familiar piece of the puzzle and moved a player who seems more money-grubbing than a team player.

Whether letting Cory go turns into a big problem for the Lightning remains to be seen. Stillman might be gunning for the Bolts but the Bolts are gunning for bigger game than revenge against a former teammate.