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Proteau's Blog: Of mouth & wallet

• John Tortorella's mouth is on the loose again. This time, it attacked former player Eric Perrin, who left Tampa Bay this week and signed a two-year contract with Atlanta.

“He can kiss my (butt),” Tortorella said of Perrin, whom he implied wasn't grateful enough for the opportunities the Bolts have afforded him. “I wish him well, but good riddance.”

What a charmer. Perhaps the notion that worker bees such as Perrin only have a limited window to make a financial splash hasn't yet occurred to Tortorella. Perhaps the Lightning coach would rather there be an “indentured servitude” clause in the collective bargaining agreement.

Or maybe the guy is just a sour, mean-spirited control freak. If Oilers GM Kevin Lowe is looking for a way to sell Edmonton to free agents, “Tortorella Doesn't Work Here” might be as good a slogan as any.

• Hate to pile on the Islanders after they lost five of their top seven scorers to unrestricted free agency, but signing Ruslan Fedotenko to a one-year, $2.9 million contract is absolute lunacy.

Fedotenko scored 12 goals for the Lightning last season, for goodness sake, and the Isles gave him a raise of $1.3 million. For those keeping track, this officially marks the end of the players' ability to claim they got jobbed on the last CBA.

• If the rumors are true and Jeremy Roenick is retiring, it's a sad moment for any hockey fan who enjoyed his patented brand of outspokenness.

When Roenick begins his broadcasting career, I hope he doesn't tone down his act, the way Brett Hull did this past season on NBC. The one thing Roenick has always done better than anyone else is convey the joy and pain of the game; acting reserved and “professional” would be the worst thing he could do.

• Raise your hand, everyone who thought Sean Hill would have a contract finalized before Sheldon Souray.

I guess Hill's agent had a little more, ahem, juice, than Souray's.


I don't know what was said between Perrin and Tortorella and I am aware of the cap problems the Bolts face but there are less than 600 jobs available to players who want to play in the NHL. Someone like Perrin is easily replaceable.

- Stephen J. Holodinsky

Talk about being easily replaceable, John Snortarella will be replaced half way through the season if the "Big Three" (actually, the "Big Two and a Half") don't produce some wins rather than statistics.

- Brian Cantamessa

Why would a marginal player like Perrin leave Tampa in the first place? He gets a chance to play with childhood friend Maritn St. Louis, who got him the audtion with the Bolts to begin with, and was on a team with poor offensive depth that guaranteed him more playing time than he'd get on any other team in the league. His best reason to leave was likely Tortorella.

- Mark McAuley

I'm not surprised about Sheldon Souray, though I guess I am surprised about Sean Hill. Being a Montreal fan, I have seen Souray in action. This can, of course, be good and bad. He's got a great upside on the powerplay, and a strong physical side. But he also takes himself out of the play with the hits, and his defensive work is rather lacking at times. Thing is, he's asking too much money, which is why Gainey said they gave him a "fair offer". What he deserves, not what he wants. Plus many assume he wants to go out west, where his daughter and ex-wife (or current girlfriend?) are. Which means his choices were Anaheim, LA and San Jose...none of whom need him any longer, I suspect. At least, not at the price he's asking for.

- Kevin Smith

Tone it down?! Brett was cartoonish (i.e. terrible) on NBC and JR was bad on his TSN stint...their problem is precisely that they're too "on" all the's wearying and half the time i didn't believe that they believed what they were spewing. That's the big difference with someone like Cherry.

- Granger



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