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Lightning owner optimistic lockout will end “sooner rather than later”

Oct 16, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT

Jeff Vinik

Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has made a lot of money as a hedge-fund manager, so naturally he’s used to things working out for the best.

Apparently that attitude even extends to a situation as morose as the NHL lockout.

“I’m an optimistic person by nature and I think we’ll be playing hockey sooner rather than later,” Vinik told the Tampa Tribune.

Vinik’s comment, while encouraging for fans, could mean a fine from the league, which forbids anyone but commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly from speaking on behalf of the owners.

Though in light of Monday’s Deadspin story, we’re not sure the league will be so keen to read a headline like, “NHL fines owner for optimism.”

  1. flyeredup - Oct 16, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    This should make all 4,000 Lightning Fans happy.

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Oct 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Leave it to a Flyer fan to be clueless.

    • tbbolts91 - Oct 16, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      You’re a dumbass

  2. hellohkitteh - Oct 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    First of all, they better not fine Vinik, he is a class guy. He’s very very good to his fans and his employees. If they fine him for just stating an opinion in a optimistic light, then that shows what the douche bag really feels about the league.

    And @flyeredub , there’s alot of Lightning Fans, believe it or not. The stadium is almost alyways sold out, I think that’s pretty dang good for being in the middle of Florida and most of the kids that are home-grown don’t even know what hockey is. Hockey in Florida is getting bigger and bigger every year, and thanks to Vinik, who actually cares and upgrades the stadium and prizes his fans/season ticket holders, it will get even bigger and more popular.

  3. lsxphotog - Oct 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    The best owner in the NHL has spoken.

    He has invested in the city of Tampa, given out $5,000 donation checks to “local heroes” every home game, didn’t fire or lay off any employees during the lockout, spent gobs of money making the Ice Palace (sorry, the St. Pete Time Forum) one of the best arenas in North America, and brought Steve Yzerman into the organization.

    Never will you see this kind of commitment from an owner to his team, city, and fans. He’s looking to build a franchise in a city that has money to spend on hockey. He knows that winning the city over – which he has by donating more money than the Rays of Bucs COMBINED – will establish a lineage of fans who will come out to games and support the team. At this point, they certainly have as season tickets are at a high and nightly attendance is competitive with some large market teams.

    Leave it up to Yzerman to build a team and win the games. So far his only real blunder was assuming Rolloson had another year in him. This year could be huge for the Lightning.

    • hellohkitteh - Oct 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      Add a 0… $50,000 ! EVERY home game to a local hero’s charity.

      But all this is so true =)
      God bless Vinik.

  4. boltsfan777 - Oct 16, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Lightning 13th in average attendance out of 30 teams in 2011-12.
    http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance/_/year/2012

    • lsxphotog - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Very cool! Also, according to that, the Lightning sold more tickets than the Rangers and the Bruins last season. So yeah, they don’t have any fans? haha

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