In what could be seen as a reverberation from the signing of Randy Jones, the Tampa Bay Lightning traded defenseman Matt Lashoff on Friday. Lashoff goes to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in return the Bolts receive RW Alex Berry and forward Stefano Giliati.
Lashoff was acquired at the trade 2009 trade deadline from the Boston Bruins (along with Martins Karsums) in exchange for Mark Recchi. Lashoff played the last handful of games with the Lightning that season and only saw a handful more games with the Bolts in 2009-10 as a late-season call-up. His claim to fame upon call-up was playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Lightning's last game ever at Mellon Arena... and injuring the Penguins Ruslan Fedotenko on his very first shift. Lashoff received a game-misconduct and was ejected.
This move can also be seen as a sort of salary dump. Lashoff's contract for 2010-11 is a one-way deal, he makes $550,000 playing in the NHL or AHL. With no guarantee that he will make the NHL squad in Tampa... Well, sending him elsewhere seemed like it made sense.
But who are these prospects that the Lightning have acquired? I shuffled over to Bolt Prospects.com and their forum to read their reaction to the trade and if they could shed insight on who was acquired. The opinion is that Berry and Giliati are spare-parts that add depth to the system -- AHL or ECHL.
The move clears out some of the back-log in on-the-cusp defensemen in the Lightning system, and a contract tied to a player that very well might not make the team. It's a fresh start in Toronto for Matt, and likely NHL playing time for a squad that was... well, not that good.
As for Berry and Giliati, it'd look like they would possibly be AHL reserves or players destined for the Florida Everblades. We'll see. If you know more about the guys -- please feel free to leave a comment.
We've made changes to the Lined-Up Update and the team pree-release is below the jump.