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.
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:
MALONE - LECAVALIER - PURCELL
GAGNE - MOORE - STILLMAN
BERGENHEIM - THOMPSON - TYRELL
HEDMAN - LUNDIN
OHLUND - KUBINA
CLARK - MARTINEK
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!