It's a rare happening when Lightning owner William Davidson is in the building to watch the Lightning play... Davidson likes to stay up in Michigan as much as possible - home of his Palace Sport Empire -- and coming down south to Tampa is a rare spectacle entirely.
Davidson wasn't going to let a measly 35 minutes keep him away from the Bolts while they played at the Joe last night... He and his right hand man, Tom Wilson, attended the game and were pleased with what they saw... Of course, how can't you be pleased when your team wins?
But either writers in attendance, questioning Davidson and Wilson, decided to make business a discussion item or Wilson thought it pertinent to make mention of certain financial factors with the Lightning.
"You feel like you have a chance to make a dollar and be competitive," Wilson said. "Now under this system, if you can manage it right, you can be competitive every year. You can keep your players, control your ticket prices and you can start to grow your business."
Under the old system, Wilson doesn't know if the Lighting could have stayed competitive. The contracts of most of the team's top players expired in the summer or will expire next summer.
"If we would've kept our guys, our payroll would have gone up 60 percent," Wilson said. "We would not have been able to keep everybody together under the old system."
That's the type of logic that was missing from bitterness expressed during Team Canada's training camp after the Lecavalier signing. Brad Richards was certain everyone could have been
inked under the old system... Not with the economics of the Lightning as it stands.
Wilson went on to speculate that the Lightning will need to go into the 3rd round of the playoffs to break even this year - while team president Ron Campbell believes the 2nd is the break-even point.
Words like "Sale" and "relocation" were also floated around in the article - maybe out of force of habit when talking to a Lightning owner, maybe out of relevance for the discussion?