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Is The Book Closed On Paul Ranger?

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If there are any fans out there still holding out hope that puck-moving defenseman Paul Ranger might show up and re-join the team at some point this season (or at all, for that matter), you might want to consider moving on. It seems that the Lightning have.
GM Steve Yzerman confirmed nearly three weeks ago that the 26-year-old, who has been absent from the team on a personal leave of absence since last October, would not be attending training camp and wasn’t being considered for a spot on the roster. But when a Lightning front office official (not Steve Yzerman) was asked to elaborate on the situation, this was the response:

“We still hold his rights and if he decides he wants to play hockey again, it would be for us. But we don’t expect that to happen.”

When asked if Paul Ranger is a part of the equation for the Tampa Bay Lightning going forward, the answer was even shorter and less open for interpretation:

“No.”

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.