Why aren't more people calling for the Lightning to trade for a goalie before its too late. Is there any way that Tampa will make the playoffs with their goalies giving up 3.2 goals per game for the remainder of the season, I don't know. The Bolts are a -17 of 5on5 play which ranks 29th which means their special teams have kept them alive in the standings.
And then there is the other Florida team, the Panthers and Tomas Vokoun.
Special teams have been a disaster for the kitty kats with a 8.3% power play percentage which is 30th in the league its obvious they need help. But they are a +6 on 5on5 play mainly because of Vokoun. This is a team that their leading scorer Michael Frolik has 4 goals and 9 assists in 21 games. That means their top scorer is on pace for 48 points on the season!
Its well known that they are rebuilding and when a team rebuilds they need to start young. Vokoun is 34 and only has this year and next left on his contract so why not trade him while hes still worth something in case of injury and give yourself an opportunity to work for next year. On the other hand Vokoun has consistently put up good numbers despite not having much offensive help. With a .923 save percentage hes good for 13th in the league and a GAA of 2.44 good for 11th all the while not having what you would call an all star defense in front of him.
But not only do the panthers have young defense coming up getting better in Dmitry Kulikov, Eric Gudbranson, Keaton Ellerby and Alexander Petrovic but they have one of the best young goalie prospects that is nearly ready for the NHL in Jacob Markstrom. So the team will be better in the near future. And while I'm not singing their praise in any sense you have to think rationally and say they're probably better off trading Vokoun while he has value. And what they need in return is more offense.
So lets say they do a deal with the devil then the question is what would the Lightning give up? well lets think
There are guys that might not get a great chance with the bolts because of their offensive depth.
Guys like Richard Panik or Juraj Simek are two that may find trouble making the lightning with the likes of Steven Stamkos, Vinny Lecavalier, Domonic Moore, Marty St.Louis, Ryan Malone, Steve Downie, Mattias Ritola, Dana Tyrell all under contract next year. And Brett Connolly, James Wright and Carter Ashton all of which will be in the system ahead of Panik and Simek and maybe waiting longer than expected to make the jump up to the NHL . Even Ted Purcell and Nate Thompson are RFAs so they might be back, hopefully. And with the impressive play of Sean Bergenheim and Adam Hall you might think they'll be invited back as well. And all that doesn't include Simon Gagne who is a free agent that will surely be offered at least something come the right time.
Another winger in Johan Harju could do good in sunrise, the AHL player of the week this week is having a great year in Norfolk with 23 points in 17 games.
Centers like Blair Jones, Marc Pouliot, Paul Szczechura and Mitch Fadden aren't going to see the lightnings top two lines and unfortunately makes them replaceable. Jones and Pouliot are liked a lot by this coaching staff in Tampa. Chewy played lots last year with the bolts and did fairly well with the situation he was given. And Fadden is leading the ECHL in scoring so far this season.
So there are options to deal offensively and not to mention future draft picks but you might want to keep those. So you ask why does Yzerman make a trade? Well not to mention the pure stats that Ellis and Smith have had this year so far. Its important that the lightning
1: Be sure to make the playoffs this year for the fans and for the culture of the team for the future.
2: Try their best to actually turn a profit this season and that comes with winning and making the playoffs.
3: The future goalies in the system can't be rushed which would slow their development.
4. Tampa appears to have enough offensive depth as does Norfolk.
5. Vokoun is probably the most underrated goalie in the NHL.
So why does Tallon make a trade? Like I said earlier they're rebuilding they need to expand their offensive depth and they have a formidable backup in Scott Clemmenson and Jacob Markstrom is coming up from the AHL.
The matter of fact is none of the 5 goalies in the system can get the job done for the Lightning if they need a good run towards the end of this year. And with what we've seen from Ellis this year we don't want him as a #1 next year if the goalie prospects don't develop enough.