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Oren Koules still calling the shots for Lightning

Posted Jun 23, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Jun 23, 2009 at 03:06 PM

While the long-term direction of the Lightning franchise may continue to be in flux, in the short term, everything is status quo.

Lightning co-owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie held a meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman at the league offices in New York on Tuesday to determine who has the final say in team related decisions. A source close to the situation said this afternoon that everything remains on par, with Tampa Bay general manager Brian Lawton in control of the team decisions and Koules, who also serves as the team’s governor, having the final say in what direction the team takes for this weekend’s draft and the start of free agency next week.

The decision by Bettman, who has intervened in Lightning ownership disputes twice in the past 18 months, may have an immediate impact on the future of captain Vinny Lecavalier. The team has been long been rumored to be exploring moving Lecavalier before his contract extension begins on July 1, a 11-year deal that pays him $85 million and includes a no-trade clause. Koules is believed to be in favor of moving Lecavalier, despite negotiating the deal with Lecavalier’s agent last summer, to shed payroll down to the low $40 million range.

Barrie did not return messages left for him and Koules was not available, according to a team spokesman.

Reader Comments

Por (jaybolts_22) on June 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Part 1 of 2:  Thank you Gary the Midget!!!! Can it be any clearer to anyone that he wants Tampa to fail. He wants us to be moved to Canada.  Why less would be let KLUELESS take control over Barrie????? Klueless wants to trade away the face of the team and lower payroll??? That will do two things. We will lose season ticket holders (myself included) so there will be less money and Klueless can cry POOR.

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Por (jaybolts_22) on June 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Part 2 of 2 Second we will have an AHL team again this year and battle all year for the #1 pick. No playoffs NO MONEY again Klueless can cry poor! Plus Montreal just got sold and I am sure to Bettman it would be a GREAT thing for the NHL to have Montreal with new owners and their favorite son comming home.  I can hear Bettman now saying how GREAT it is for the NHL to have Vinny in Montreal I took a wait and see with these idiots from day one. Barry Melrose Klueless’s boy mistake, Trading Danny Boyle Trading Vinny. STRIKE three I am OUT!Thanks Klueless you have caused a very passionate fan who has been through the UP’s and DOWN’s to be ready to lets next years tickets go empty and walk away from a team and sport I have loved for 14 years!

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Por (beuycek) on June 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Jay, I hate to rain on your parade but Melrose was BArrie’s idea as was the Boyle trade. Don’t hurt yourself hopping off the bandwagon…

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Por (jaybolts_22) on June 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

If not missing a game in over 12 years makes me a bandwagoner then call me Bangwagon Jay.  I was the Ice Palace when we could not get 8,000 people in there I never miss a game. But that was not the point on my comment BOTH of these “Cowboys” have messed this team up. Klueless is currently the one looking to cut payroll if that means trading the face of the team it would be the last mistake for me. But I might not even have to make a choice to jump off the “bandwagon” if Bettman gets his way and they move the team.

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Por (beuycek) on June 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

How do you know Koules wants to cut payroll? Because a columnist wrote it? Until it happens, let’s not live in the “what if” world. What we do know if Barrie is responsible for Melrose being hired and Boyle being traded yet you single Koules out as being the kingpin behind those “strikes”. And congrats on your 12 years of being a fan but I find it hard to believe someone who lived hrough all of that bad history would just up and leave because one single player is traded. I also went through the lean years and not once has the thought of bailing on this team crossed my mind, no matter how bad Koules and company manage to screw this up. Being a “fan” is dealing with the good and the bad.

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Por (jaybolts_22) on June 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Amazing….. beuycek…You are a better person than me.  Giving up on this team would be based on MANY things this ownership pair have done as I already stated. Trading the face of your team will kill the fan base and they know it. They are smart men and I firmly believe they want to move the team and everything they are doing is all leading up to the press conference in 5 or 10 years.  “We are losing to much money in Tampa. We will be moving the team to Las Vegas” I will not continue to give these idiots my money if they don’t show that the fans in Tampa Bay matter. Build around the face of team do it the right way and win or lose I will be in the Forum everything game.

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Por (beuycek) on June 23, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Jay, I understand yuor frustration but why take it out on the players? As a fan, you owe it to them to show up or support from afar but continue to support them, even if it means it puts money in the pockets of morons. Look, I don’t like OK any more than you but of the two, OK has at least been man enough to step up and admit his mistakes. I think he learned his lesson. Doesn’t mean he won’t screw up again but until he stands in front of us and says he has traded Vinny, I can’t bring myself to believe anything these yahoos in the local media have to say because the bottom line is, they don’t know any more than you and me. Last year was exhibit A to that.

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Por (Bill) on June 25, 2009 (Suggest removal)

All BOLTS fans, the GOOD story out of Montreal yesterday was Oren and Len both did attend the Board of Govs Meeting, sitting together and having very good conversations!! We always get negitive comments and lets go forward for 2009-2010 with good team spirit and give Lawton time to do his JOB as last year was not his doing. Lets GO BOLTS for the coming season and have a GREAT successful WEEKEND and coming week in TRADES and FA signings!GO BOLTS !!!!

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