TSN is reporting that the Lightning have traded Freddie Modin and newly-signed goalie Fredrik Norrena to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Marc Denis.
As of right now I am echoing the sentiment of my friend here in Tampa who I just mentioned the deal to: "Did McLean by Feaster dinner first?"
Denis' numbers aren't spectacular but he hasn't played behind the best defense in the NHL or anything. A .900 save percentage from last season is a sight better than what John Grahame and Sean Burke posted during 2005-06 for the Lightning....
''Marc Denis is a solid, steady, durable, proven No. 1 goaltender in the NHL,'' Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said. ''He is a workhorse and a fierce competitor with one of the best glove hands in the league. He is also a young man who has not yet reached the prime of his career. We have scouted Marc extensively and had actually targeted him as early as the trade deadline this past season.
''Our belief in his skills and his ability to fit in well within our locker room has never wavered. We are confident Marc will bring us the type of reliable and consistent goaltending we need in order to return our franchise to the type of success we have enjoyed in the past.''
I dunno, folks, I don't know. It's not the fan-favorite factor that gets me about this trade. The Lightning aren't particularly strong on the wing to begin with and losing Fredrik Modin is a huge blow as he, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis have been a force for this team for the last few years. Who fills the void? Will Nikita Alexeev be brought back to get another chance to forefill his potential that he has failed to do time and again? Does Dmitry Afanasenkov (or Kantgetashotov as some know him as) get promoted to the top two lines while fans pray he learns how to finish? Do the Lightning search the free-agent market for a body? Or do greenhorns in the system get a chance to earn roster spots with the Bolts at left wing?
Also, Denis has played admirably but not other-worldly behind a suspect defense in Columbus... Now he comes to Tampa Bay where the defense is likely to lose one of it's top four defensivemen (Pavel Kubina) to Free Agency. There's a likelyhood another rookie will make the roster in order to save money... But then again, the free agency market for defensivemen is deep and Jay Feaster will more than likely wade into the water to find someone who can contribute to the squad...
More questions than answers with the Denis deal, in my opinion. Some may be jumping up and down because the Lightning secured it's #1 goalie... but fixing a hole may have ultimately compromised the levee.