There still seems to be a bit of fallout worth addressing from the Andrej Meszaros-to-Tampa Bay story broken by THN.com: In some circles, the theory has been floated that yours truly was “used” to paint Meszaros as greedy and the Senators as savvy for the package they landed in trading him to the Lightning.
I’m not about to reveal the source who gave me the initial heads-up for the scoop, but suffice to say, said theory is erroneous in the extreme and only could’ve been posited by someone unfamiliar with the specifics of the situation.
The truth is, Tampa Bay management had an offer sheet prepared that had Meszaros’ signature on it. It didn’t have the required signatures from the Bolts, because they didn’t have the stipulated third-round draft pick that would’ve helped consummate that type of deal.
However, the Bolts were dead serious in attempting to re-acquire that pick from Pittsburgh and, as confirmed by multiple sources, only Pens GM Ray Shero’s severe reluctance to be so much as tangentially associated with an offer sheet stopped the Bolts from doing so.
Obviously, the offer sheet was used to press Sens GM Bryan Murray into trade talks with the Lightning. Obviously, it worked. That said, given how aggressive Tampa’s new ownership group has been in remaking their team, I don’t doubt for a second they would’ve taken another run at Shero and the third-rounder if Murray wouldn’t do a deal with them.
I’m well aware of the long history of messengers being shot in this line of work, but them’s the facts, folks. THN.com just passed ’em along.
• Ticket sales for the inaugural Festival Cup undoubtedly have picked up since a certain longtime captain of the Maple Leafs – who will heretofore go unnamed in this space until he makes up his mind about playing again – announced he’d skate in the charity game taking place Friday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Now, I could encourage you to buy tickets strictly because of that NHL superstar’s presence, or because he’ll be joined on the ice by fellow NHLers, including Jason Spezza, Gary Roberts and Joe Thornton, as well as notable names from the entertainment world, including actors Tim Robbins and D.B. Sweeney, and one of my all-time favorite musicians, Jim Cuddy.
I’m not going to appeal to you for those reasons, though. I’m going to suggest you be in attendance for the sole reason that the game’s proceeds will benefit Right To Play, an organization dedicated to the employment of sports programs around the world as a means to improve underprivileged communities and the lives of those who reside in them.
Right To Play also has the added good fortune of employing former THN senior writer and all-around great dude Mark Brender, who I’m sure will regale you with behind-the-scenes tales of THN-related debauchery if you see him at the Festival Cup and request to hear them.
What I’m saying is, there’s really no good excuse not to haul your hindquarters down there and support a cause that deserves it.
Adam Proteau is The Hockey News’ online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays in the summer, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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