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Cowboy Up

CowboysThose Tampa folks sure know how to keep things going in the boring weeks leading into training camp, don't they?

A few days ago, former Lightning coach John Tortorella went off on the new Lightning bosses, you know, the guys who fired him before officially taking over and replacing him with Barry Melrose.

Speaking on an Ottawa radio station, Tortorella said "you got a couple of cowboys there as owners,'' and ripped them for their handling of Dan Boyle as well as the Mezaros trade. Check out the comments -- as well as the actual interview -- here at Tampa Bay.com.

The owners didn't have much to say at first, Oren Koules declining to comment and Len Barrie saying "the bottom line is when you're in 30th place, you have to make changes. We'll let our record speak for how we do next year."

Only Barrie -- a former Panther -- changed his mind, telling Damian Cristodero "what were there, nine openings for coaches? That's why he's working for TV. I'll be sure I wear my cowboy hat for the first game."

Well, allright Cowboy!


-- Have only seen this one place, but thought it needed to be mentioned. According to the Bleacher Report, Mike Van Ryn's time in Toronto may be short. The report says both Ryno and Ian White are on the trade block, with the Leafs trying to move one or both before the season gets going. Check it out here.

-- Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun doesn't think much about Bryan McCabe coming to the Panthers, basically opining that the new Florida d-man must not care about winning if he would come to such a hockey backwater as south Tamarac. Would give you a link, but it's not on their site anymore. So here's what he said:

If you want to know why the Maple Leafs gave up on and gave away Bryan McCabe, here it is in a nutshell: McCabe got to pick where he wanted to play and he chose the Florida Panthers. Translation: He doesn't give a hoot whether he wins or loses and the Leafs were well aware of that. Who would want an apparent leader who is happy playing for a team in a messed-up market that never contends?

Steve must forget that Bryan also requested to go to the New York Rangers. Why would anyone want to go to New York and play for a team that never contends?

-- Don't forget to vote on the best Panthers of all time. Couple of more weeks before the bottom three get lopped off and we add three more to the vote. Lot of interest in this poll, so let's keep it going as we count down the days until training camp.

Your vote counts -- here at least.

-- Despite a tough economy, the Red Wings are selling tickets at a brisk pace and are ahead of last year. Also, don't bet on Mats Sundin wearing the winged wheel next season. Detroiters are going to be close to going over the cap, so they don't have the cash for Mats.