Alright, as I promised, here I am again today to keep this going. So where was I? I turned down a GM role to stay with the stars, and then as the summer went along, I noticed my former team the lightning making some very questionable moves. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty bother with what I was watching and it was hard not to pay attention to it even though I wanted to focus all of my attention on the stars.
As the off season was moving along and we were now in unrestricted free agency and I was in a very good place. We still needed to be a little bit creative to create some cap flexibility but most of the major work was done for the stars. We were essentially playing the UFA waiting game. As I was taking advantage of the lull to spend time with my family, I got an interesting message from a lightning representative. The message was asking me if I had any interest in ever returning to my former team.
What?? Return to the place that I was just fired??? I was extremely mind blown. It had been less than a year since I had been fired from the organization and now they want me back? It just didn’t make any sense. I gave it some thought and decided to ask in what capacity? Their response was “in the exact same role as GM that I had before with a lot more money. Apparently they weren’t very happy with my replacement and have already quietly decided to get rid of him.
I’m not going to lie, it felt pretty good to be wanted back so quickly but I was hurt when I got fired. I won a Stanley Cup for this franchise and they just dumped me like I was garbage. How could I possibly trust them to come back again? I decided that I needed to know one simple thing before I took the job. “What has changed from the day you fired me to this day where you want me back?”
Their response: “We were riding such a high after winning the Stanley Cup, we didn’t have much success before we won it. We thought with the team that we had built that we’d be competing for the Cup for years to come. And then we missed the playoffs two years in a row and were on the verge of a third straight failure and someone needed to pay the ultimate price. We realize now that it was a mistake, sometimes you just don’t know what you have until it’s gone and that is why we want to right this wrong and bring you back.”
It was a response that definitely gave me a lot to think about. Tampa was my home for over 10 years, I know this team, I know this City. If anyone should take them back to the promise land, I felt like it should be me. I was happy while with the stars and didn’t know what I wanted to do next, but when I think about going back and imagining winning again with Tampa, I couldn’t say no. So here we are, half way through the season with a great start and I’m ecstatic to be home again!