The Tampa Bay Lightning traded defensive prospect Brock Beukeboom and a third round pick to the St. Louis Blues for their captain, defenseman Eric Brewer. Plenty of the Lightning faithful are pretty please by this move. Me, not so much.
It isn't trading Beukeboom that's an issue for me. He's apparently still recovering from his second concussion this season in junior hockey, and at 18 years old, that can't be a good thing. Reportedly, he hasn't had that great a season outside of that, either.
The third round draft pick sort of hurts. I hate giving up that potential talent. But I've heard from a few people that this year's draft is very thin on talent. So, perhaps, that's not so great a loss after all.
And there's no question that the Lightning need a little help on defense. Mike Lundin has quietly become the cornerstone on which the Lightning defense has rested upon. Now that he's out of the lineup, there's a big gaping hole to fill. So, in that regard, acquiring Brewer was a good idea.
|2010 - Mike Lundin||53||0||9||9||-9||4||0||0||0||38|
|2010 - Eric Brewer||54||8||6||14||1||57||0||0||1||86|
Brewer's stats are better this season than Lundin's are, so perhaps it's not a bad trade. However, how is his foot speed? One of Lundin's biggest assets is his smooth skating style. Admittedly, I haven't seen Brewer play all that much, so I have no idea how he skates.
Foot speed is really the issue here when it comes to defensemen and Lightning head coach Guy Boucher's 1-3-1 system of play. The guys who have struggled with playing in this system the most tend to be the ones who aren't very quick. And not knowing much about Brewer, that makes me nervous.
On Twitter, apparently Brewer is either considered great or slow. There doesn't seem to be a general consensus on the guy. And that also makes me nervous.
Add to that that he's 31 years old, is making $4.5 million (pro-rated for the Lightning) this season, and is a -107 in his career doesn't really help inspire confidence, either.
However, the one redeeming quality that I know of right now is that he was St. Louis's team captain. And you can never have too much leadership in the locker room or on the ice. So I'm taking a wait and see approach with the new guy. I'm cautiously optimistic, but I think I'll reserve judgment on GM Steve Yzerman's move until I see him play a few games first.