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Koules’ first public comments since Melrose firing

Posted Nov 17, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Nov 17, 2008 at 10:49 PM

I had the opportunity earlier today to submit some questions to Lightning co-owner Oren Koules to get some of his thoughts about the direction of the team since Barry Melrose was let go on Friday. Here’s a small sampling, with the rest available in tomorrow’s paper, including one regarding how long ago the team thought of making a coaching change, but you have to check out that one tomorrow:

Q: There are indications that the players came to ownership asking for the change to be made? Is there any validity to those reports?

Oren Koules: It is just not true. Our players did not go behind Barry’s back or up the ladder here to management or the ownership asking for a change. That just didn’t happen. I can’t be any more clear here.

Q: If the locker wasn’t responding to Barry, do you feel you have the right players in the room?

OK: Definitely yes. And as we move forward under Tocc’s leadership that will become more apparent to our fans.

Q: What can you say to fans who may be soured by the start of the team on the ice and the issues off the ice? Do you still believe you have a good hockey team or do more changes need to be made?

OK: In talking to many players coaches and general managers around the league, most feel we have a very good hockey team. And as I said above, I still very much believe we will make the playoffs. In fact, with 65 games left to play, we are three points out of the playoffs. So I feel pretty good about things the way they are now.

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