Bolts Trade Rumours

As the deadline approaches, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be looking to add a few pieces to the puzzle as they look to make a deep playoff run. Rookie GM Steve Yzerman has been shopping around for a while now, being active in all aspects of the transaction world, signing Simon Gagne, claiming Mattias Ritola off waivers, signing Marc-Andre Bergeron as a free agent and trading for Dwayne Roloson.

The Lightning already has a solid cast of forwards up front, but with Ryan Malone out until the playoffs with a muscle tear in his abdomen, the Bolts might need a top nine forward to fill his void. Players such as Mike Grier, Cory Stillman and Daninius Zubrus have been linked to the Lightning, with Stillman being the front runner as he played in Tampa years ago and won a Cup with them in 2004. Stillman wouldn't cost that much (perhaps a draft pick). The Lightning have $10.3 million in cap space, so adding Stillman's $3.5 million salary wouldn't hurt. Tampa could resign him or let him walk after the season ended.

Cory Stillman as a Tampa Bay Lightning in '04

Tampa is also looking for a puck moving defenceman. Mattias Ohlund, Victor Hedman and Pavel Kubina lead the defnce, but none are technically a 'puck moving defenceman.' The Islanders' Radek Martinek could be an option, with a salary of $1.9 million. Also rumoured are the Jackets' Jan Hejda and the Senators' Chris Campoli.

Check out the Lightning's roster with those two potential deadline moves:

ST. LOUIS - STAMKOS - DOWNIE
MALONE - LECAVALIER - PURCELL
GAGNE - MOORE - STILLMAN
BERGENHEIM - THOMPSON - TYRELL

HEDMAN - LUNDIN
OHLUND - KUBINA
CLARK - MARTINEK

ROLOSON
ELLIS

SPARES: BERGERON, JONES, HALL, SMABY, RITOLA, DESJARDINS

It looks like a pretty deep line-up when they are healthy. Those fourth line guys like Thompson, Hall and Tyrell have the makings of being just what a playoff team needs, bringing some grit to the ice. Having Stillman gives them that veteran experience that the team could use, and it's not like Stillman doesn't score anymore. He has 15 goals and 37 points as a 37 years old. Not bad seeing he plays with Florida.

Yzerman says he is going to be cautious at the deadline, but that doesn't mean he won;t make any deals. Like his mentor in Detroit (Ken Holland) Yzerman will most likely take low risk, high reward deals that will benefit the team without hurting the locker room. This is exactly why the Stillman rumour makes sense.

Speaking of Detroit, what do they do at the deadline? It's pretty simple: what for the day to pass. They have literally no cap space to make any moves without giving up a player. Holland says he is listening to offers and looking at players, but I doubt anything will happen. It was rumoured that they are looking at Steve Staios and Jarkko Ruutu, but it's a long shot.

Detroit travels to Tampa on Thursday in a battle of 2nd place teams in their respective Conferences! Catch my liveblog of the game starting at 7:15!

Kyle Busch
www.thecheckingline.com
www.twitter.com/KyleBusch11

6 Comments

George Prax's picture

I don't know if just Stillman and Martinek will cut it to make the bolts a cup contender... but they wouldn't hurt. Yzerman's definitely got something up his sleeve.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

I think they're a contender even without them. They have a solid core that could go a long way. The depth guys around them like Bergenheim, Moore and Clark all work well together. I just have a good feeling about this team.

nightmare3020's picture

they never have had a legit puck mover since boyle left

id say kaberle but i dont even want to think of that drama anymore. If they can land a puck mover from somewhere, they will be even more deadly in transition. Even without any trades look for them to be a force in the playoffs

George Prax's picture

They have a good team no doubt, but there are question marks on D and adding a 6th defenseman won't change that IMO, and they could still use another top six. You think this team can get by the Flyers? Cause that's the benchmark.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

well seeing they won the first 3 meetings i'd say yes they can. and we'll see tonight as well.

George Prax's picture
Kyle Andrew Busch wrote:

well seeing they won the first 3 meetings i'd say yes they can. and we'll see tonight as well.

Ahem.