By Mike Harrington
TAMPA, Fla. -- Think there's time to breathe now that the NHL trade deadline is over? Think again. It's a gameday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and there's going to be plenty to do this morning.
First off, the Lightning will be welcoming Steven Stamkos back to the team and introducing Ryan Callahan, acquired last night from the New York Rangers. Their morning skate will kick off around 10:30, with the Sabres going at 11:30.
I would assume we'll see new Sabres Torrey Mitchell and Michal Neuvirth on hand. Cory Conacher, who had to fly from Edmonton to Ottawa to get some immigration work squared away, is expected to join the team tomorrow in Sunrise for the game against the Panthers.
I unintentionally started quite the kerfluffle on Twitter last night when I pointed out the Sabres are assigning No. 30 to Neuvirth (Mitchell is getting 17 and Conacher 88). That seems far too early. I think Ryan Miller's number should be retired but you can easily debate otherwise. That said, very bad optics to hand the number of a face-of-the-franchise guy out so soon. And to a backup no less. Wonder why Conacher was not given his 89. Alexander Mogilny going up in the rafters? He declined it? I'll ask.
Several hundred of you responded. Pretty interesting. I'll find out today, hopefully from Neuvirth himself, what the deal is.
Be sure to double back on this blog for all the posts from yesterday's action. We've had more than 220,000 page views the last 4 1/2 days as of 9 a.m. today and we thank you all for reading! You can go to this link to review the live blog from the day, featuring tweets from all over.
In case you missed all the coverage on today's pages, here's a fast link rundown:
The extreme makeover continues -- John Vogl has our main rundown of the team's busy day.
Murray a study in intensity -- Bucky Gleason's column on Tim Murray's refreshing approach to deadline day.
The departed -- I had a chance to speak to Matt Moulson, Cody McCormick and Jaroslav Halak before they left and all are understandably thrilled to be back in the playoff hunt.
Conacher returns to second home -- Amy Moritz caught up with waiver claim Cory Conacher, who became the first Canisius College player to make the NHL and now becomes the first former Ice Griff to play for the Sabres.
By the way, there's a game tonight -- In my notebook from Tampa, Ted Nolan points out how tough it was to prepare for a game. There's chatter about the departure of Martin St. Louis plus Chris Stewart telling me he's OK to stay. He was resigned to the fact after Ottawa traded for Ales Hemsky instead.