TAMPA - Lightning RW and impending unrestricted free agent Andre Roy already had told his agent he wanted to pursue a contract with Tampa Bay this summer.
So, when he heard Wednesday that Lightning GM Jay Feaster publicly had expressed a desire to look into re-signing him this summer, Roy was thrilled.
"I love it here," said Roy, who is in his second stint with the Lightning. "The minute I got here last year, when I knew I was coming here from Pittsburgh, was one of the best feelings ever. I always loved it here. It's a great spot to play, a good organization. Even though this year has been a little tougher, we have a good group of guys here to push through and we're going in the right direction."
The mutual desire to have Roy in a Lightning sweater next season makes it seem as if re-signing him will be a simple matter of a quick offer and a quicker acceptance. Money could be an issue, though; Roy is in the final season of a three-year, $3 million contract that paid him $1 million this season, half of which was paid by the Penguins after Roy was claimed off re-entry waivers last season.
Although Roy joked that the bidding could start at the six-year, $40 million deal signed Monday by D Dan Boyle, the Lightning are not likely to offer anything near that kind of money. Still, it means something that the team wants him, and he wants to be here.
"I feel like I'm so appreciated by my teammates, the coaching staff, the fans, everything," Roy said. "Just being here is great."
BARRIE INTERESTING: A report in today's Victoria Times Colonist in British Columbia quotes former NHL C Len Barrie, who was believed to have sat in with prospective Lightning owner Oren Koules during an organizational meeting with team officials Monday, as saying a deal "is being is being looked at," but that it would be "premature to say I'm part of any group."
The Times Colonist also cites a source that revealed Barrie's contribution toward the approximately $200 million investment was $20 million, including $15 million toward the 5 1/2 acres of adjoining land included in the purchase. Barrie, who owns and operates Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club near Victoria, indicated his potential involvement would be much more substantial.
"If I was to be involved, it would be a lot bigger than $20 million and I would be looking for equal control," he said. "But there's really not much to talk about at this point. It would be a fun thing to do, as long as the team wins."
NUTS AND BOLTS: Lightning D Filip Kuba, who played for Minnesota from 2000-06, was scratched Wednesday with a sore right knee. He is day-to-day. ... D Alexandre Picard, acquired from Philadelphia Monday for LW Vinny Prospal, was an emergency call-up from the AHL's Norfolk Admirals and replaced Kuba in the lineup. ... Wednesday was the final day in the organization for Lightning director of broadcasting and programming Jason Dixon, who left to become program director for WJXL, 1010 AM, a sports radio station in Jacksonville.
Carter Gaddis, Erik Erlendsson