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Erik Erlendsson

Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.

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Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback signs a deal

Posted Oct 27, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Oct 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM

Lightning goaltender Anders Lindback signed a two-month contract to play with Ilves in Finland, his agent confirmed on Saturday.

Lindback, acquired from Nashville during the summer, had been working out in his hometown of Gavle, Sweden, for the past month during the NHL lockout while weighing his options. The deal was announced on the Ilves website.

“He’s in great shape and anxious to play,’’ agent Mike Deutsch said.

Should the lockout be resolved before the two months is up, Lindback would still return to the Lightning, Deutsch said.

The 6-foot-5 netminder was in Tampa prior to the lockout working out with teammates at the practice facility in Brandon before opting to return home to resume workouts. The 24-year-old former Nashville backup was acquired in the hopes of solving Tampa Bay’s long-term issues in goal. In 38 career games with the Predators behind Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne, Lindback has a 16-13-2 record with a 2.53 goals against average and .914 save percentage.

Lindback becomes the third Lightning player to sign a contract with a European team while the NHL is on hold due to the lack of a collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NHL Player’s Association.

Defenseman Victor Hedman is currently playing with Barys Astana in the Russian Kontinental Hockey League where he has eight assists and is a plus-6 through 11 games played. Forward Adam Hall has two goals and three points playing with Ravesnburg in the German second division.

NHL Player’s Association releases video statement regarding NHL lockout

Posted Sep 16, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Sep 16, 2012 at 01:25 PM

After the league released a statement regarding the NHL lockout this morning, the NHLPA has released a video from some of their players.
So with the lockout now on, both sides are still looking to win the court of public opinion instead of just trying to sit down and find a deal that both sides can agree upon.

NHL releases statement to fans regarding the lockout

Posted Sep 16, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Sep 16, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Just hours after the lockout was put into effect at 12:01 a.m. EST on Sunday, Sept. 16, the NHL put this statement up on its website directed at the fan base:

“Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating around the clock to reach a new CBA that is fair to the Players and to the 30 NHL teams.

Thanks to the conditions fostered by seven seasons under the previous CBA, competitive balance has created arguably the most meaningful regular season in pro sports; a different team has won the Stanley Cup every year; fans and sponsors have agreed the game is at its best, and the League has generated remarkable growth and momentum. While our last CBA negotiation resulted in a seismic change in the League’s economic system, and produced corresponding on-ice benefits, our current negotiation is focused on a fairer and more sustainable division of revenues with the Players—as well as other necessary adjustments consistent with the objectives of the economic system we developed jointly with the NHL Players’ Association seven years ago. Those adjustments are attainable through sensible, focused negotiation—not through rhetoric.

This is a time of year for all attention to be focused on the ice, not on a meeting room. The League, the Clubs and the Players all have a stake in resolving our bargaining issues appropriately and getting the puck dropped as soon as possible. We owe it to each other, to the game and, most of all, to the fans.’’

Tampa Bay Lightning rolling tour starts this weekend

Posted Sep 7, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Sep 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM

The Tampa Bay Lightning will begin their Rolling Thunder 20-Stop Tour, a series of fan events complete with interactive games and giveaways, with two stops this weekend. The first stop will be on Friday, September 7 at the Lakeland First Friday event from 6-9 p.m. and the second stop will be at Dinosaur World in Plant City from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Rolling Thunder 20-Stop Tour will make appearances at different locations and events in the Tampa Bay area throughout the Fall.

The Lightning continue celebrating their 20-year anniversary with the Rolling Thunder 20-Stop Tour to give fans a chance to get geared up for the upcoming season by bringing friends and family to participate in interactive games. Rolling Thunder, the Lightning’s marketing fan truck, is full of entertainment for all ages. The first event kicks off at the Lakeland First Friday event located in downtown Lakeland. The tour will make their second stop at Dinosaur World located at 5145 Harvey Tew Road in Plant City. 

Both events will feature appearances by the Lightning Girls and ThunderBug. Fans will also be given a rewards card at each event and can collect points for each time they attend a stop on the tour. Fans attending all 20 events will get a 20th anniversary t-shirt and a chance to win a pair of front row Lightning tickets for a game during the upcoming season. Fans that go to five Rolling Thunder stops will get a McCafé ® real fruit smoothie or frappé from McDonald’s ®. Fans will also have the chance to win a Vincent Lecavalier signed jersey, Lightning team magnets and other prizes for attending the Rolling Thunder stops.

Tampa Bay Lightning hire local executive

Posted Sep 6, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Sep 6, 2012 at 05:16 PM

The Lightning welcome a new executive to their staff this month, and he’s a local:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have named Robert Canton to the position of executive vice president of finance and strategic planning today, Chief Executive Officer Tod Leiweke announced.  Canton, who joins the Lightning from PricewaterhouseCoopers in Tampa, will oversee financial operations external development, and strategic planning, while managing city and county governmental relations for the franchise.  .  He will join the organization in September.

“We are flattered that Rob has elected to join the Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment team,” Leiweke said. “His wealth of national and international experience in sports and entertainment combined with his knowledge of the Tampa Bay market and the local landscape will assist us as we look to grow the business outside the walls of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.”

Canton has 25 years of experience conducting strategic and economic analyses in the sports and tourism sectors, including 22 years with PwC.  He has worked with hundreds of teams and destinations both domestically and internationally, participating in a wide variety of projects including transactions, performance improvement, project feasibility and strategic planning.  His past clients include MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS teams, as well as several major collegiate athletic programs. Canton led sports and tourism projects in the cities of Denver, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and New York City, as well as state and federal projects for Virginia, Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, Puerto Rico, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Mexican Ministry of Tourism. 

A 24-year resident of Tampa, Canton has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Tampa’s Sports Management Program and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.  He has served on the board of directors for several local and national organizations including Tampa Bay & Company, Tampa Bay Business for Culture and the Arts, the Destination and Travel Foundation, Destination Marketing Association International, and is on the Board of Advisors of the University of New Haven Sports Program.  He is also a member Urban Land Institute and has served on ULI Advisory Panels in Denver and Miami. 

Canton has contributed to a number of books including “Handbook of Business Valuation and Intellectual Property Analysis,” “Sports, Convention and Entertainment Facilities,” and “Convention Centers, Stadiums and Arenas.”  He also served as the editor of PwC’s Convention Center Annual Report, Amphitheater Annual Report, Stadium & Arena Managers Annual Report, and for the Sports and Theme Park chapters of the firm’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook.

Canton earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa.  He received a Masters of Tourism Administration with a concentration in sustainable destination management and focus in sports management from the George Washington University. 

Canton effectively replaces Chief Financial Officer Martha Fuller, who resigned this summer for family reasons. .  Fuller had been with the organization since November 8, 2010.