I made a little statement in one of yesterday's posts:
That’s a wider notion than just on-ice play. Safe is death — (making) sure your locker room situation remains passive and unchanged can lead to a negative, atrophic effect on the team’s resolve to win.
Perhaps it has to do with how or why a team will acquire a player. If the player will be a short-term rental, then perhaps the character and chemistry issues don't matter as much. I bring this up because of what GM Jay Feaster said on Monday, that a good locker room makes trading more difficult. I also recall what Rob DiMaio said earlier in the year, that Tampa Bay's locker room was so tight, he felt it difficult to at first to feel comfortable.
How much should chemistry matter in changing up the roster? Should a locker room be so tight that it's hard for new guys to get involved? What happens when a tight-tight knit group isn't playing well? There are a lot of different answers given by the fans on Damian's post -- some talking specifically about the chemistry issue and others moaning about Modin-for-Denis -- but what's right?
Ideally you don't want to bring in someone who is so volatile to the mix that they shake up a team on ice and off-ice/outside-of-the-arena ways, but at one point you have to stop being critical of chemistry and take chance -- moving or letting go of someone popular in the locker room and off ice in order to bring in someone who fills a team need.
Vilify Feaster if you will for trading Modin for Denis, but that was a risk that had to be taken (no one knew Johan Holmqvist would sign with the Lightning, nor work out). That's also the truth to any potential trade on the horizon -- you can't see everything down the road with certain moves, but it is wiser to plan long term than for the quick fix. Chemistry plays into that, and chemistry can play against that if a tight-knit group will not be open to change.