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Kings mum on Ron Hextall rumors

May 20, 2010 |  7:19 pm

The Kings are declining to comment on reports that have identified Ron Hextall, their assistant general manager, as a candidate to become general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, reached by phone Thursday, wouldn’t say whether his top assistant — who also oversees the Kings’ minor-league affiliate in Manchester, N.H. — has been contacted by the Lightning or has interviewed for the job. The position opened in April, when Brian Lawton was fired following the team’s non-playoff finish.

It’s a difficult but not impossible situation because the Lightning has a lot of talent, including Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and youngster Steven Stamkos, and could be turned around fairly quickly if new owner Jeff Vinik provides stability.

Lombardi also wouldn’t say whether Hextall’s contract contains a clause that would allow him to leave for a higher-ranking job elsewhere. Such clauses are common in the NHL.

Other reported contenders for the Lightning job are former Minnesota GM Doug Risebrough and Red Wings Vice President Steve Yzerman, the leader of the management team for Canada’s triumphant Olympic team.

— Helene Elliott

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