The Lightning Insider
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Welcome back David Koci! Lightning GM Brian Lawton said he was disappointed to lose Koci when St. Louis claimed him off waivers last month, and he didn’t hesitate to grab Koci again when the Blues put him on waivers this week. Koci arrived back in Tampa last night but didn’t participate in this morning’s skate. He won’t be in the lineup tonight when the Lightning face the Nashville Predators at 7:30 p.m. (Sun Sports, AM 620 WDAE)
Also out of the lineup is veteran Gary Roberts, who will miss his first game of the season with an upper body injury. Interim Head Coach Rick Tocchet said Chris Gratton also picked up a knock and is questionable for tonight, though he still might skate warmups. With Ryan Malone expected to return tonight, Ryan Craig looks probable to return to the lineup if Gratton can’t go.
Tocchet enjoyed a brief reunion with former Lightning Head Coach Terry Crisp before his morning media briefing today. Crisp, it turns out, was Tocchet’s junior coach at Sault Ste. Marie of the Ontario Hockey League and played a role in convincing the Philadelphia Flyers to draft Tocchet in the sixth round of the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Tocchet told the story of sitting at the draft in Montreal, seeing Crisp walk down from the stands to the Philadelphia table, then hearing his name called by the Flyers. Crisp even showed respect to his former student this morning with an impromptu “introduction” of Tocchet for the gathered media as he approached the podium.
Crisp wasn’t the only former Lightning staffer stalking the halls this morning, as Nashville Senior VP of Communications & Development Gerry Helper made the trip for the Predators. Helper was one of the original architects of the Lightning in 1992 and played a large role in the hiring of fan favorites such as Rick Peckham, Bobby Taylor and Larry Hirsch.