Over the summer months I lambasted the Lightning for owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie‘s handling of the team, and the hiring of Barry Melrose, amongst other things.
On the Lightning’s official website, Melrose was advertised as the “Coach to Ignite Us.” Okay, I’ll bite, a coach who hasn’t been in the league in a decade could provide a new voice, direction, and more importantly, a breath of fresh air. However, after two straight losses against the Rangers to open the season, Melrose didn’t hold anything back:
“I hope our guys were embarrassed by that second period.”
Sound a little familiar? John Tortorella may be gone, but it seems like Tampa’s players aren’t going to safe from public criticism anytime soon. Melrose may get a point because he didn’t mention anyone in particular, but it’s obvious that he’s pointing towards new captain Vincent Lecavalier and veterans Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone. That’s fine, but here’s the kicker:
“I’m sure our ownership and management were [embarrassed].”
Seriously, Melrose? By making comments like those it really shows you how much ownership is in control of this team. Since Jay Feaster‘s departure, which was less than amicable, the Lightning have actually never officially named a new general manager, although it is assumed that former player agent Brian Lawton has taken over in that capacity, but remains Koules and Barrie’s puppet.
A lot of people are rooting for the Bolts to fail for various reasons. Count me in that bandwagon.
EDIT: And a shake-up follows. The Bolts deal Michel Ouellet and Shane O’Brien to the Canucks for prospect Juraj Simek and Lukas Krajicek. The Lightning get rid of one of their excess forwards and a replaceable defenseman with the under-performing Krajicek, who will be considered a “veteran” on a young Lightning blueline.