New Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has made his presence felt already in town, swiftly firing coach Rick Tocchet and general manager Brian Lawton at season's end. Will Vinik have a positive impact on the franchise, or is he just another 'caretaker?'
All of this is supposed to take place well before the NHL Entry Draft in June. Supposedly, the CEO will be hired within the next couple of weeks. Right now, they’re looking over resumes and interviewing candidates for a CEO. It'll be interesting to see how long it will take for a GM to be hired after that and if they'll be prepared for the draft.
Vinik is looking for the team to be a contender as soon as next season. Which is probably a good thing, since Martin St. Louis has recently said that he might ask for a trade if things don’t look up this summer. The phrase that Vinik uses often is "world class". Not only is he looking to make the Lightning into a legitimate threat, but he appears to be interested in making the brand better known overall.