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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Ira Kaufman

Tribune Staff

Bolts notes: Crisp passes lead to power play goals

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TAMPA — Making teams pay for their indiscretions continues to be a major theme for the Lightning, who had their way with Montreal’s penalty killers in Game 2.

Bucs draft notes: GM Licht talks Huskers with WR Bell

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When GM Jason Licht called WR Kenny Bell Saturday afternoon to tell him he had just been drafted by the Bucs in the fifth round, the discussion quickly turned to the state of ...

Bucs notes: Smith stuck with Penn State after Sandusky scandal

- Tampa Bay's second-round draft pick, tackle Donovan Smith, faced a tough decision before he ever played a down for Penn State. But while other players applied for transfers, Smith remained in Happy Valley.

Winston has whirlwind first day as Buc, eager for football

- Jameis Winston signed a four-year, $23.5 million contract after dealing with a misunderstood Instagram photo. Now, “I can’t wait to get new teammates and win some games,” he says.

Cheers, not jeers, greet Winston pick at Bucs draft party

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Some fans believe new Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston will help to pack Raymond James Stadium. Thursday night, Winston confirmed he can indeed draw a crowd.

Bobby ‘The Chief’ Taylor calls last game in Lightning TV booth

- Taylor announced at the beginning of the season this would be his last year in his current role. He will transition into a studio analyst job and work between the benches starting next season.

Coburn an unlikely offensive hero for Lightning

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— Braydon Coburn could have fibbed and said he was trying to pick a corner, but nobody would have believed him — including his appreciative teammates.

NFL draft: Top five prospects at each position

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Tampa Tribune NFL writer Ira Kaufman ranks the top five players at each position entering the NFL draft:

Ira Kaufman’s NFL mock draft

- Tampa Tribune NFL writer Ira Kaufman predicts the first round of the NFL draft, including a trade that could definitely please Bucs and Seminoles fans.

For Bucs, this year’s draft not just about QB

- After dwelling in the NFC South basement for the fourth consecutive season, the Bucs are expected to select Jameis Winston at No. 1. But a 2-14 record last season suggests other areas of weakness need to be addressed later ...

Detroit’s Kronwall suspended by NHL for hit on Kucherov

- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall won’t play in Game 7 after being suspended for his hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov during Monday night’s Game 6 of their NHL first-round playoff ...

Bolts notes: Road team having its way in series

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TAMPA — It’s logical to assume the Lightning would own a significant advantage playing at home in Game 7 against the Red Wings in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Rays extend winning streak to 5 with sweep of Jays

- The Rays stretched their winning streak to five games, beating Toronto 5-1 behind seven shutout innings from physically challenged Chris Archer and a career-high four RBI by Brandon Guyer, who entered the day with three RBI...

NFL column: Titans should grab QB at No. 2

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The Tennessee Titans are bad, and they’re boring. That’s a heck of an NFL exacta.

Bucs passing up on a QB? It’s always possible

- All signs point to the Bucs choosing FSU's Jameis Winston with the No. 1 pick. But here's a crazy thought: What if the Bucs pass on a quarterback?

Bucs invite fans to NFL draft party on April 30

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— More than a dozen current Buccaneer players are slated to attend the team’s draft party April 30 at Raymond James Stadium, where thousands of fans are expected to gathe...

At 73, Dylan still packs a punch

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CLEARWATER — After a 22-year absence from Ruth Eckerd Hall, Bob Dylan wasted little time Wednesday night proving he’s a different troubadour.

Yzerman runs Lightning, but Detroit still in his blood

- Michigan fans were stunned when Steve Yzerman left his job as a Red Wings executive after a Hall of Fame playing career. Five years later, Yzerman will watch tonight’s Game 3 playoff matchup at Joe Louis Arena from ...

Bucs’ 2015 schedule to be announced tonight

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— The suspense will soon be over for head coach Lovie Smith and fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Bishop finds comfort zone in Game 2

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— With his first career playoff win behind him, Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop had an admission to make Saturday.

Glazers looking out for No. 1 ahead of Bucs’ pick

- The Glazer brothers have never been confused with ultra-meddlesome bosses like Jerry Jones, but they have a tradition of assuming a powerful role in football operations at key moments. Like right now.

Lightning will need better effort in front of net today

- Today’s Game 2 playoff matchup between the Lightning and Red Wings could hinge on which team establishes ownership over a piece of prime property. The puck drops at 3 p.m. at Amalie Arena (TV: NBC).

Lightning lose opener, but crowd remains true blue

- The Lightning gave new meaning to the term “crowd control’’ before Thursday’s 3-2 loss to the Red Wings in Game 1 of their NHL playoff series. Judging by the scarcity of out-of-town red jerseys at A...

In Game 1, Lightning power play shorts out

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— On a night they continually flexed their muscles at even strength, the Lightning were undermined by a power shortage.

Bolts vs. Red Wings: How the season went

- The Lightning won the regular-season series 3-1 against the Detroit Red Wings, with goaltender Ben Bishop starting all four games. Here's a breakdown.

Slap shots: Goaltenders see first playoff action

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WHAT JITTERS?

Bolts notes: GM Yzerman’s past, present collide

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BRANDON — Steve Yzerman spent 27 years in the Detroit organization as a player and an executive, so it’s no surprise that the Tampa Bay Lightning GM expects churning emotions when the puck drops for Game 1 ag...

NFL column: Ex-Buc Freeman must prove he is a changed man

- This is his last chance, and he knows it.

Women’s Final Four notes: Rivalry brings attention to sport

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— Anyone who follows women’s college basketball shouldn’t have been surprised by Tuesday night’s participants in the national championship game.

NCAA women’s notes: Different kind of Final Four for Notre Dame

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— Multiple times this past week, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said this year’s Final Four run has been different than the team&#...

Tuck heads in NCAA women’s final as UConn future star

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— Sharpshooter Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is approaching her final collegiate game and two-time Player of the Year Breanna Stewart will be a senior next season.

Women’s issues could take center stage at future Final Fours

- If a leader in NCAA women’s basketball sees her dream become reality, the annual event will also serve as a dynamic force to empower student-athletes and lure national women’s groups into the host city for net...

Women’s Final Four notes: Irish dig deep

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— It wasn’t exactly the way they scripted it, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish live another day.

Women’s Final Four Game 2: Two-time champ UConn faces upstart Maryland

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— Heading into tonight’s NCAA semifinal against top-ranked Connecticut, the University of Maryland has drawn a distinction between respect and fear.

Title-starved Cubs banking on Maddon's magic

- Joe Maddon is about to blow through the Windy City — and he’s not changing a blessed thing.

Piniella on Maddon in Chicago: ‘It will work out well for Joe’

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— The man who preceded Joe Maddon as Rays manager knows what it’s like to venture from the empty stands of the Trop to sold-out Wrigley Field.

Rays newcomer Ramirez likely to start in rotation

- With all the uncertainty surrounding the Rays’ pitching rotation, new addition Erasmo Ramirez has a chance to contribute ... from the start. The team likes his experience and ability to work deep into games.

Rays Triple Play: Smyly’s session an encouraging sign

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Before the Rays arrived at Steinbrenner Field to face the New York Yankees on Wednesday, Tampa Bay LHP Drew Smyly threw live batting practice in the morning at Tropicana Field to g...

Rays notes: Club ready for real competition

- Tampa Bay improved to 13-12-2 with Wednesday’s 3-0 shutout of the Yankees in Tampa, and Rays manager Kevin Cash said he’s already counting the hours before Monday’s season opener against the Orioles.

Making right NFL draft pick difficult to project

- Guessing on an SAT test might cost you a few points. Guessing in the NFL draft might cost you your job.

NFL meetings notes: Excitement for draft’s new site

- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is excited about staging the draft in Chicago next month, even if the potential No. 1 pick doesn’t show up.

Bucs’ Smith thinks Winston’s mistakes are behind him

- Jameis Winston received a powerful endorsement from Bucs coach Lovie Smith, who said the organization’s “unprecedented’’ research suggests the polarizing quarterback will not repeat the lapses in jud...

Bucs co-owner: 'We've got to solve the problems going forward'

- In a wide-ranging discussion on the state of the Bucs, co-owner Joel Glazer touched on topics ranging from fan support to his confidence level in head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht following a 2-14 season.

NFL meetings: Franchise QBs valuable, but rare

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PHOENIX -- Some NFL observers have likened the skill set of Florida State QB Jameis Winston to Ben Roethlisberger, who has led the Steelers to a pair of Super Bowl victories since being selected in the first round of the...

GM Licht: Bucs ‘already better’ with offseason moves

- Jason Licht, speaking at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix, said the Bucs are in better shape than last season, even with the release of three starters over the past six weeks.

Bucs' signing of punter Wilder could end Koenen's run

- Andrew Wilder, 24, handled both punting and kicking chores at Northern Arizona, where he led FCS punters in 2012 with a 46.3 average. In 2013, Wilder ranked fifth with a 44.5 average.

Bucs sign CB Sterling Moore

- The Bucs made their fourth free-agent signing of the offseason Thursday, coming to terms with former Cowboys defensive back Sterling Moore.

Rays' Archer bolsters pitching arsenal with changup

- Chris Archer already has shown he can be a rotation mainstay by relying on a 95 mph fastball and a slider that handcuffed hitters in 2014. He now is becoming more confident with a changeup that he believes will round out an...

Rays Triple Play: Roll with it

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Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer was cruising along at Bright House Field before two of Philadelphia’s veteran mainstays teamed up to spoil his second outing of the spring.

Rays notes: Cash, Longoria off to good start

- It appears the new manager of the Rays and the face of the franchise have formed a quick rapport.