Saturday, July 5, 2008

All Not Well in Mullet Bolt Land

Considering this is the dog days of summer, any hockey news is interesting and I found this VERY interesting.
Quick back story. Dan Boyle was a name that was being thrown around alot during this past season's trade deadline. He was being linked with teams all over the place including the Rangers. But, to the surprise of everyone, the Bolts resigned him and traded away Brad Richards ultimately solidifying Boyle was going to be in Tampa for the duration of the new 6 year deal with a no trade clause. 
Then ownership troubles ultimately lead to the sale of the team. They finally do some good things with drafting Steven Stamkos and others. They sign Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Radim Vrbata, Adam Hall, Olaf Kolzig and they resign Vincent Lecavalier for pretty much the rest of his career. They hire Barry Melrose as their head coach and the Mullet Bolt era (copyright on that one) begins. 
But after signing all of these free agents, the Lightning ask Dan Boyle to waive his no trade clause. Well he did to go to San Jose along with Brad Lukowich for some nice prizes. But Boyle came out and really shot a blow to the record of this new ownership and Melrose (I include him because he is undoubtedly with the ownership on everything). Here is a snippet of what Boyle had to say last night. (This is from the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch: http://www.ottawasun.com/Sports/Hockey/2008/07/05/6071996-sun.html)

"I've been a top guy in ice time the last few years. They call my work ethic into question? I work out to be in the best shape possible and things about me were questioned. It got to the point where my ass was threatened to be put on waivers and I was going to be picked up by a last-place team that wouldn't win for the next six years. You tell me, is that any way to do (bleeping) business?"

Now whether this started back with the old ownership doesn't matter. I suspect it didn't considering they are the ones that gave him the new contract. Either way, it was the new ownership that has broken the back of Boyle and caused him to go on this tyrade. I for one agree with Boyle. Treating star (he may not be a league star but he was certainly a star on Tampa) players like that is absolutely ridiculous. Hockey players are dedicated to what they do and for the most part, seem to do the job they do because they love it. Boyle loved being in Tampa Bay. He loved the team, fans and everything the team stood for. But for a new ownership to essentially bully a player into not only leaving his team but more importantly, moving his entire family when there was a guarantee from them that he wouldn't have anything to worry about, is a bad move in terms of relations and with the players on the team. I'm not saying that the guys that have signed there are regretting their decision but this little incident will stay in the backs of their minds. This isn't just limited to them though. It reaches out to every player in the NHL. Even the possibility of players thinking about this event when they are considering a new team could be disastrous for the Mullet Bolts.
I might just be blowing smoke but this was a very bad move on the part of the new ownership. 
The NHL announced the list of players going to arbitration today. New Ranger Dan Fritsche is on the list but New York hasn't had much time to negotiate with him and hearings don't begin until the end of July. I'm not worried. Notable names on the list include Jay Bouwmeester from Florida, Antoine Vermette from Ottawa. 
If you are looking for more drama, look no further than Kevin Lowe and Brian Burke. Lowe, GM of the Oilers, has been taking unbelievable heat from Ducks GM Brian Burke ever since the Dustin Penner offer sheet last summer. Well Kevin Lowe has finally lashed back. Check TSN to read up on what Kevin had to say about Brian Burke. 
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