NHL News and Rumors – August 13, 2009

Satan waits to see if Islanders want him

Locals keeping an eye on Tampa Bay Lightning ownership situation

Summer mailbag: Richards trade unlikely

Satan waits to see if Islanders want him


Former Islander and current unrestricted free agent Miroslav Satan skated at the Islanders’ practice rink in Syosset Wednesday and addressed a potential return to New York.

Satan, who played three seasons with the Islanders from 2005-2008, confirmed that his agent, Allan Walsh, has spoken with the Islanders about rejoining the team, but they have yet to resume discussions this week. Walsh first announced the dialogue between the two camps on his Twitter page on July 25, then gave an update three days later, saying, “We are still deep in talks with NYI on Miro.”

“I know they spoke about it a few times last week,” Satan said. “This week I don’t think they have talked. Now, it’s quiet again.”

The Islanders and Walsh did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Satan, who has a home on Long Island where he is living this summer, said he would prefer to stay in the Eastern Conference and would be open to an Islanders reunion.

“I’m not saying no to anything right now,” Satan said.

Satan had 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 65 games for Pittsburgh last season, but said the Stanley Cup champion Penguins are not among the teams who have expressed interest.

“I’ve got to make up my mind quickly and decide where,” Satan said. “We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”

Satan was sent down to Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate for 10 games last season but then rejoined the Penguins for the playoffs, which culminated in his first Stanley Cup.


Locals keeping an eye on Tampa Bay Lightning ownership situation

Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer

To Phil Esposito, the Lightning is like his baby.

Forget the Hall of Fame career, he said, forget the goals and his two Stanley Cup championships.

“Nothing I ever did was as good in my mind or as satisfying, and nothing was as important, as getting this franchise.”

That is why the Lightning founder said if the dispute between owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie ends with the financially troubled team up for sale, “Yes, I would try to put a group together” to buy it.

That time is not imminent.

Barrie has a league-mandated 60-day window that closes in September during which he can buy out Koules. If he fails, Koules gets a chance to buy out Barrie. If Koules fails, there is a chance former owner Palace Sports & Entertainment, which financed much of OK Hockey’s $200 million purchase, could get control.

In that scenario, there is little doubt the Lightning would be back on the market. And if that happens, Tampa attorney Steve Burton said, “There are a number of people around town who love the team and would try to help any way they can.”


Summer mailbag: Richards trade unlikely

Mike Heika/Reporter

It’s been slow so far in August, so let’s get a few mailbag questions out there.

This one came from a Rangers fan who still is hearing that the Stars are interested in trading Brad Richards.

If you want to send in a question, fire it off to mheika@dallasnews.com

Q: I am writing to you as a New York Rangers fan. There was a rumor about a week ago about the Stars and Rangers hooking up on a trade that would send Brad Richards and another player to NY for Brandon Dubinsky, Michal Rozsival and a prospect. Supposedly, the Rangers are having trouble signing Dubinsky (Restricted Free Agent) and really need a first line center. The person who wrote this rumor said he talked to a Dallas Star official and he said there was some truth to the rumor. Do you know anything about this? Is there any truth to it? Thanks! Steve.
HEIKA: Hey Steven, I doubt that it came from someone within the Dallas Stars. All I can find out is that the Stars would rather not have Michal Rozsival or Wade Redden be a part of any deal. I actually don’t mind Rozsival, and I think his contract is manageable at $5 million a year for the next three years. But he is definitely overpaid for what he does, and that is a concern. I also like the edge that Dubinsky gives, and I like his history of performing well in the playoffs at the lower levels.

So the deal does make some amount of sense on the surface.

But the Stars, I believe, have simply asked: Are we better with Rozsival on defense and Dubinsky as the No. 2 center or are we better with Brad Richards as our No. 2 center and the current defense? They have decided, I believe, they would be better with Richards as the No. 2 center and the current defense.

Now, the Stars are on a very tight budget and would probably listen to offers that allowed them to move Richards for top prospects so that they could shed his $7.8 million salary (for the next two seasons) and possibly acquire a bigger name defenseman. But, the proposed deal with the Rangers doesn’t save them any money, so I believe they are simply looking at this as they would rather have Richards than the other players.