The Washington Times - July 2, 2008, 01:25PM

I just talked to Olie Kolzig’s agent, Art Breeze. I wanted to follow up with him after yesterday’s events. Mostly, I wanted to find out if there was any talk between him and the Caps at all. When he was ready to sign a one-year deal for $1.5 million in Tampa Bay, was there even the thought of coming back to the Caps for a similar price and a chance to compete with Jose Theodore? The answer wasn’t surprising.

Kolzig isn’t going to be expected to be the starter for the new-look Lightning, but he should get ample playing time behind Mike Smith, who has yet to prove he can handle a No. 1 starter-type workload in the NHL. And he could get as many as six chances to prove his old team wrong on a team that just might challenge the Caps and Hurricanes for Southeast supremacy.

 Q: What was the interest level like for Olie yesterday?

 Breeze: He was one of the most sought-after unrestricted free agent goaltenders yesterday. There were several aggressive suitors. He is a class act, and I think he can still be a dominant goaltender in this league. Tampa’s gain is going to be Washington’s loss.

[NOTE: Kolzig was on XM Radio yesterday after he signed the deal, and he didn’t sound quite as emphatic about the number of teams that were interested. I’m pretty certain the phrase was “not as many as I expected.” That doesn’t mean there weren’t several teams after him, of course.]

Q: Was there any communication with Washington yesterday?

Breeze: None whatsoever. And you can put that in big, bold letters.

Q: What about Olie going to a team like Tampa Bay, which has made quite a splash the past couple of days?

Breeze: It is a wonderful and well-deserved opportunity. He is a former Vezina Trophy winner and one of the classiest players in the league.