I gotta apologize to the few and the brave who are repeat readers of my pieces here at Boltsmag. The apology is due to the fact that i have been on hiatus and just taken a breather from the site and covering the Lightning in general lately.
Part of the reason is I haven't been keen to be online since I went away last month, another part of reasoning ha been the fact I feel like I am just repeating news items that you can find form the other sources locally about the team. If not the two media sources, then from LightningNation's own mouth.
It's been sort of a struggle lately to write up what I want to write up... The team is listless though the record doesn't reflect that. One can remember the start of the 2003-04 campaign and remember the team started hot, cooled off dramatically during late November and December and then went white-hot for the remainder of the season. Right now, Bolts are tepid -- and I can't tell if they are warming up or cooling down further. The The Thrashers game on Tuesday started out like a lop sided spectacle in the team's favor and then ended up being a slamming by Atlanta. A friend in attendance couldn't help but give fault in part to John Grahame (who wasn't invited to Team USA's camp to the ire of his loyal fanbase), and my interest in the game was lost while watching at home (blame Doctor Greg House and Stephen Colbert's show airing in repeat at 8:30 pm).
At any rate, the Lightning seem to be up against the wall with the cap - as could have been predicted when they schemed to keep only 20 skaters. There was also the news peice in the St. Pete Times thsi morning announcing the Lightning are actually one of the oldest teams in the league:
Then again, the numbers are a tad deceiving. The Lightning's age is skewed because of its oldest players: Dave Andreychuk (42), Rob DiMaio (37), Tim Taylor (36) and goalie Sean Burke (38).
What Tom Jones fails to mention in said snippet of an article is that this is a key reason the Lightning are up against the cap as well. All four players named were UFA's and all were brought back without caponomics in mind. Burke and Andreychuk alone are eating up 2.4 million dollars against the cap this season and it appears that Burke may be a health question mark for some time to come. We knew the Lightning goaltending situation wasn't goign to be pretty this season but was it really wise to throw so much money at Burke? Was it wise to sign four elder veterans to big money contracts when a veteran player is more likely to get hurt and be forced to be replaced on teh roster?
This of coruse is not trying to put down older players, it's the life that must be lead under the salary cap. sacrifices must be made both for the team and for the franchise in general. It's a cold hard fact and at oen poitn someone will be moved for cap reasons...
There's more I want to rant about but I'm tuckered out as it stands right now. Maybe tomorrow if I can keep focus on blathering bile all over the internet and earning the wrath of puck bunnies everywhere.