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Lightning town hall meeting, what questions do you want answered?

Posted May 11, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated May 11, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Tonight is the second town hall meeting the Lightning will hold under new ownership led by Oren Koules and Len Barrie. Tonight’s setting will begin at 7 p.m. with open micorphones set up for fans to ask questions directly to general manager Brian Lawton, Koules and soon-to-be-announced head coach Rick Tocchet. There are no restrictions on what you can ask, as long as everything is presented in a respectable manner.

The first time this was done back in July, there was a sense of optimism after the free agency period brought in sweeping changes to the roster and there was an awful lot of optimism. But after a 29th place finish and some questionable roster decisions having been made along the way, there is a lot more pessimism surrounding the franchise on many levels.

So, I obviously will be in attendance somewhere in the building (assuming they let me in grin  ) listening to what transpires. While the expected announcement of Rick Tocchet as head coach will be a newsworthy item coming out of the event, I’m very curious to see what you the fans have to ask and how things transpire.

So I want to know, who is actually going to attend the event (free food and $1 beers never hurt to bring in attendance) and what questions do you want to hear answered by the team brass? Judging from comments left on this blog throughout the year and from emails I have received, there are plenty of unhappy patrons (though not all) with the direction the team has taken in the past 11 months.
Here is the information on tonight’s events:

The Tampa Bay Lightning will host a “Town Hall Meeting” on Monday, May 11 at the St. Pete Times Forum from 6-9 p.m.  The event is free and open to the general public with special features for season ticket holders.

Beginning at 6 p.m. there will be a used equipment sale on the arena floor of the St. Pete Times Forum.  Items to be sold were formerly used by Lightning players.  Assistant Equipment Managers Rob Kennedy and Clay Roffer will be available to answer any questions.  The equipment sale will close at 7 p.m. and reopen after the question and answer session, which will also be taking place on the arena floor.  Lightning defenseman Andrej Meszaros will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m.

The question and answer session will begin around 7 p.m.  Owner and Governor Oren Koules, Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton and Coach Rick Tocchet will answer questions from fans in a town hall format.  There will be reserved seating for season ticket holders.  There will be multiple microphones available for all fans to ask questions.

There will be plenty more to do after the question and answer session.  The Lightning Locker Room will open for tours, including tours of the medical room by Head Athletic Trainer Tom Mulligan and Assistant Athletic Trainer Mike Poirier.  Kennedy and Roffer will also be on hand to answer general questions about the locker room.  Tocchet and defenseman Paul Ranger will also be available for autographs from 8-9 p.m.

All fans must check in at the Jeep Club Entrance before entering the event.  Free parking will be available in the VIP East and West Lots on a first come, first serve basis.

Season ticket holders can meet their client sales manager in the XO VIP Club or have their questions answered by Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Brad Lott and his staff on the event floor.

All fans arriving at the event will receive a mini-bobble head and have an opportunity to enter to win game-worn jerseys from Evgeny Artyukhin, Ryan Malone and Ryan Craig as well as tickets to other events at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Once inside, fans can take photos with ThunderBug, play in the inflatable shootout and joust games, and check out the youth hockey table.  Lightning merchandise will be on sale for up to 50 percent off the retail price.  There will also be free snack mix, popcorn, soda and water, while hotdogs and beer will each be $1.

Lightning Hockey Night, the Lightning’s weekly radio show, will air live from the event on 620 WDAE from 7-9 p.m.  The show will be hosted by former Lightning players, and Stanley Cup Champions, Dave Andreychuk and Chris Dingman.

Reader Comments

Por (John) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Questions: 

Are the Lightning rebuilding or retooling this off season?

Of the RFA and UFA Lightning d-men, which are priorities to re-sign?

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Por (Mitch Rebe) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Why was the Ligtning Bug let go. It seems as though this individual was more a a good will ambassador and a boost to the Lightning than “deal of the day” antics. If you get a replacement, it just deems that you have made a bad judgement, (like you do with players) of people with expirience. Cheap is not the way to go. You lose fans if the caliber of personel is not up to par. The “bug” was a bonified veteran of enjoyment. Why mess with a good thing to get cheaper! Shame on you. What once was good, you’ve turned into rubbish. Just keep looking at the success of “Tort” as your example!!!

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Por (gus) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

when are you going to get serious and get a real hockey man as a GM or advisor?  Let’s hope that you get something good for Lecalvier when you trade him instead of dumping salary like you have with our players traded during the last year.  What is going to happen with Verbatta?

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Por (Bill) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

It will be a VERY interesting Night!
Will Sully return as a Coach? How many 3rd and 4th line players will return? We have some D-men that can play, but we need 2 Grinding D-men, will you go out to get them? Who do you think is ready to jump in from AHL and be NHL READY? We needed the AHL players here last 15 games only to fill roster spots.
Will you be NHL ready or another AHL team on the ice in Tampa?

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Por (Chris C) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Decide on Vinny..all we would get in return are propects..are they that bad and want to totally start over again? Or do we have just a few pieces missing? We have goaltending and offense…Add on defense with Hedman.

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Por (Bolt Fan) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Do we have goaltending?  What is Smith’s status and prognosis?  Do we need to get some insurance there?

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Por (Carol N. Weaver) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

1.  Will you honor the contract you entered into with Vinny, or will you pull another Dan Boyle with the face of the franchise?

2.  Will the Bolts have another year of revolving players or some stability this year?

3.  What are the plans on shoring up defense?

4.  What about the MVP line?  Tocchet has already said Marty will be with Stammer.  Why, and who do you plan on playing with Vinny.  Your substitutions didn’t work too well last year.

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Por (vickie) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

What can you do for the season ticket holders and fans in general?

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Por (Jeff) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I can’t make it, but if I could, I would ask this:

“Looking back, how do you assess the Dan Boyle trade?  Do you still feel it was the right move?  Can you explain how the assets we have today (personnel, salary cap space, and future draft picks) are more valuable to the franchise, than what his offensive, defensive, and leadership skills brought to the franchise?  I’m not looking to rehash the gory details of how the trade went down…just help me, the fan and ticket holder, to feel better about the state of the team 10 months and a full hockey season later.  Thank you.”

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Por (berlin) on May 11, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Why do I want to punch Brian Lawton in the face, every time i see him?

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