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Rolston waiting for his morning coffee?

Posted Jul 1, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Jul 1, 2008 at 12:02 AM

Just got word folks that Brian Rolston will NOT be making a decision on his immedate future in the immediate future. He’s going to sleep on the Lightning’s offer overnight and inform the team of what he intends to do in the morning.

This decision does not come down to money for Rolston. I’ve been told that a lot of it revolves around his 6-year-old son and the youth hockey programs he might be involved in. While the Tampa area can offer a lot of things to a hockey player (wearing shorts and flip-flops to practice in January), what it can’t offer is a top-notch youth hockey program. That’s not a knock on any of the programs around here which are improving every year. But if you try to compare it to other areas such as Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minnesota or Boston, it’s just not going to stack up. Rolston is 35, so it’s not like he’d be signing a seven-year contract, or anything, so in all liklihood his son wouldn’t even be 10 by the time his contract would be up in Tampa leaving him plenty of time to still develop should Dad decide to hang ‘em up when he’s 38 or 39.

That still doesn’t make the decision any different or any easier for Rolston and his family. There’s also a chance that Rolston might be holding out for a possible chance to play for Detroit, which is close to his hometown of Flint, Michigan, while the Penguins and the chance to play with Sidney Crosby are also possibly on his short list.

With the free agent market not opening until noon on Tuesday, this still leaves a small window of hope that Rolston agrees to sign. And even if he does hit the free agent market, it doesn’t mean Tampa Bay is out of the mix. The Lightning have done a solid sales job on him that may yet still win him over.

So in the short term folks, please don’t leave your laptop hanging out anywhere near your commode tonight hoping to hit refresh on your computer screen. I’d hate to think I’d be responsible for you knocking an expensive piece of technology into any clouded watery areas LOL

Reader Comments

Por (Leanmean43) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

The Gulf Coast Flames, a 12-and-under youth hockey team based in Ellenton with players from around Tampa Bay, won the USA Hockey Tier II National Championship back in April.  “The Flames are thought to be the first Florida team to win a USA Hockey national championship.”  Tell Rolston!

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Por (Youth Hockey Fan) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

2 Sides to that coin.  Yes, there is nothing here in Fla that compares to the very best programs in Minn and New England.  Still, to think there’s nothing here is an unfortunate northern stereotype of us that’s only one step removed from those who still wonder why we have pro teams in this state (anybody remember the half-filled arenas in Boston and Chicago the last couple of yrs? Why don’t they talk about contracting by offing THOSE teams??)

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Por (Youth Fan part 2) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Remember the kid is only 6.  When he was in Buffalo, Scotty Bowman asked why his kids’ teams were shipping up to MTL and TO at that age.  The response was so they could play in Canada.  His answer was, if they want 6-yr olds to play in Canada, just take ‘em the 4 miles over the Peace Bridge!
A growing number of Florida kids get their start here then go to the “hockey hotbeds” to play triple-A or prep school hockey.  They live with families as exchange students and grow a ton of experience in high level games.  Now, isn’t that what kids all over Canada do once they’re drafted into high-level bantam and midget leagues?

Hey Brian, consider that when your kid leaves practice in February and hits the pool back in your back yard…

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Por (Youth Fan (again)) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Leanmean—it has happened before, the first time was 6 yrs ago.  Florida teams have also done very well in Silver Sticks, the Quebec Tournament and at the Junior level.  There have even been national championships held here.  The biggest handicap of Florida youth hockey is that if you buy one of those liners you fill with H2O to make a back yard hockey rink—for some darned reason, it doesn’t work…

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Por (Nick Murray) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)


Come on now. You could at least have linked to the Tribune’s story about the Flames!

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Por (Kevin G) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Can’t blame the guy for wanting what’s best for his kid, but there’s good hockey down here for a few years. He’s going to make some good money with Tampa. He’s 35, so he’s not going to get a huge deal with many other teams. He’d be a good fit with the Bolts this year.

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Por (Roland Woltman) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Mr Ralston, I’m not saying this because you could score 40-50 goals easily playing on a line with Vinny and Vinny and I’m not even saying this because we could use you on the point to help drive our PP, but if there is any chance you might read this you should know that there is a reason that far more then our fair share of the worlds best athletes come from Florida. Your son can certainly hear his name called in 2020 (or so) on the first day of the draft if he doesn’t live in Pittsburgh or Detroit until he is 11 or 12. Of coarse he may hate you for leaving the beauty of Tampa for Pittsburgh or Detroit by then… Hhmmmmmmm, tuff call. Pittsburgh, Detroit or Tampa. Well if you go there we will at least be seeing you in the playoffs grin

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Por (davedouche) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

the youth hockey is good enough for a 6 year old to develope- what if his kid likes baseball too? Golf in Febuary at some of the best courses in the country ain’t too bad either. Professional golfers live a good life too….sounds to me like Rolston is a tad conflicted for all the wrong reasons….

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Por (Jim) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

To Rolston:

If Tampa doesn’t have hockey programs that meet you standards, why don’t you pioneer a system then?  Leave yourself a lasting and impacting legacy on a virgin area and build the foundation for even more competition of the ggreatest sport ever!  That’d be great!

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Por (dale) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think it’s great that the guy is considering his family in his discission, I hope he isn’t using them\him as a polite way to say “no thanks”. Vinny-4 has visited the local rinks and is helping out on the recruitng efforts so I’d bet Mr Rolston has some idea of what’s available.  There is no question the lad can get all the ice time with quality instructors.

At the same time, we only want him if he wants to be here.

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Por (BOLTS RULE !!!!) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

TSN is reporting that Rolston will test free agency and not sign with lightning at this time, though he wants to see all offers.

of couse TSN is the one spreading stuff about Boyle as well so I dont really trust all that they say.

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Por (TampaFan) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I agree with Jim, NJ, but I also agree with Dale, FL—we don’t want someone who doesn’t want to be here.  Its unfortunate that Florida has the stigma of not having good hockey because there are an incredible amount of hockey programs here. Between roller hockey and ice hockey a kid can play hockey 7 days a week if they want.  The Flames is a perfect example of what you can do here—a bunch of kids born and raised in Tampa winning the National Championships.

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Por (Hockey Mom) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

There is great youth hockey in the bay area. Northern kids learn in backyard rinks, our kids learn in rinks with coaches.

We have A, AA Tier II and High School hockey. One former player signed with Michigan, another played at St. Lawrence & is now in the Lightning Minors. We also have Junior B & C hockey. They have consistently won championships at Nationals.

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Por (Hockey Mom) on July 01, 2008 (Suggest removal)

A number of kids are playing junior A & B up north in the Met League and in prep schools. Almost every major Florida college has both Ice and Inline Clubs playing at a decent level of competition.

I agree, if he is so concerned about the level of play for youth hockey here, he could step up and give us a hand. I am involved in High School hockey here and we sure could use some help.

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