Lightning owner optimistic lockout will end “sooner rather than later”

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Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has made a lot of money as a hedge-fund manager, so naturally he’s used to things working out for the best.

Apparently that attitude even extends to a situation as morose as the NHL lockout.

“I’m an optimistic person by nature and I think we’ll be playing hockey sooner rather than later,” Vinik told the Tampa Tribune.

Vinik’s comment, while encouraging for fans, could mean a fine from the league, which forbids anyone but commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly from speaking on behalf of the owners.

Though in light of Monday’s Deadspin story, we’re not sure the league will be so keen to read a headline like, “NHL fines owner for optimism.”