October 23, 2008
When the Tampa Bay Lightning lost David Koci, their enforcer and man who took down Sergei Gonchar, on waivers to St. Louis on Tuesday, it made Puck Daddy's favorite NHL coach Barry Melrose already eager to get him back -- while totally downplaying Derek Boogaard's scoring potential.
"I hate to see him go. Hopefully, if St. Louis puts him on waivers, we'll pick him up again."
"That's why the United States has a nuclear arsenal. ... It's called a deterrent. Think (Minnesota's Derek) Boogaard is in the lineup because he's going to get 10 goals? I don't think so."
Yep, definitely hate to see a guy who contributed four penalty minutes in 41 seconds of ice time leave. He coulda been somebody! He coulda been a contender!
OK, so maybe Melrose wasn't holding back Koci's development purposely like he has with Steven Stamkos, but it's just another notch in the belt of the re-education of the coach-turned broadcaster-turned coach again.
Like Wysh mentioned yesterday, Melrose's job is safe, Philbin level safe if you will, because with all the upheaval within the Tampa organization in the off-season, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie want to prove their detractors wrong. Barrie upped the ante by boldly predicting over the summer that the Lightning will win the Southeast Division.
As an aside, with Tampa picking up Matt Pettinger off waivers this week, that brings the total of Bear Mount resort investors added to the Lightning organization to three, joining Gary Roberts and special assistant Mike Vernon. Do we know of any other NHL'ers/coaches that have a stake in Bear Mountain? Is this Barrie's way of making his floor-hockey team at the resort have a better shot at the Bear Mountain Cup next year?
"We like Koci, but there's no room in the East for fighting," Barrie said. "Who is Koci going to fight on the Thrashers?"
I believe Eric Boulton would like to speak with you Mr. Barrie.