I have to admit that I love when fired coaches and traded players dish on what was really going on behind the scenes in the club.
Former Lightning coach John Tortorella is the latest to dish (thanks to Damian Cristodero transcribing an Ottawa radio interview). There’s a lot of semi-cheap shots, like Vinny Lecavalier being a fantastic NHL player, unless he’s not coached in a certain way (I liked this one best because it’s a shot at Lecavalier and at new coach Barry Melrose). Tortorella also wonders aloud if goalie Mike Smith is truly a number one goalie, which isn’t a fair question, since Smith has been fine, both in Tampa and in Dallas, his previous stop. But beneath the petty carping, there’s a great story about Dan Boyle:
I knew [ownership was going to trade Boyle]…during the trading deadline where myself, Jay Feaster and all the administration of that team were locked in the room with owners that were still in the process of trying to buy the team. It turned ugly in there because of some of the thoughts they had, and they still hadn’t even dropped a penny on the club. I sat across from Lennie Barrie and Lennie Barrie started talking to me about Dan Boyle when he played with him seven, eight years ago in Florida, which makes no sense to me because I think after seven or eight years a guy may mature and improve his game. I begged them to sign Danny Boyle.
I’m not a huge Boyle fan, but I did find it strange the Lightning would sign him longterm and then trade him. It seemed like a waste of everyone’s time. While I’m sure salary was a factor, it seems the big issue was how the new Tampa ownership remembered Boyle. So apparently my mom was right: first impressions really do count a lot.
Also, over in Philly, Simon Gagne is getting ready to come back to the Flyers, who missed most of last season with concussion symptoms. If Gagne’s post concussion symptoms are truly gone, he kind of cured himself. Gagne saw a news report about an old-but-rare headache treatment and wound up contacting the doctor to help with his headaches. And given Philadelphia’s track record with concussions, I think it was pretty smart of Gagne to look outside of the organization.