Question of the Week is a weekly feature that poses a question to Raw Charge writers and other writers within the Boltosphere, discussing the ins and outs of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Traditionally, the Tampa Bay Lightning have not exactly been among the most active or flashy participants in the annual feeding frenzy known as the NHL Trading Deadline (John Emmons for Craig Millar, anyone?). However, in case it isn't already clear, this not only isn't Your Father's Tampa Bay Lightning, it's not even your Older Brother's.
In an effort to not only establish a new identity but to find better, more effective ways to get things done, owner Jeff Vinik, general manager Steve Yzerman and head coach Guy Boucher have yet to find something about the way the Lightning conduct their business that couldn't at least be tweaked, if not completely overhauled or scrapped. With that in mind, and with the Lightning currently in 1st place in the Southeast Division (and slotted for the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference), could...and should...this year find the phone lines at 401 Channelside Drive busier than usual?
So that's the question we posed to our staff this week:
Do you expect/want the "new" Lightning to be more active at this year's trade deadline than they have been in the past?
After the jump, the Raw Charge staff's answers.
I don't think Tampa Bay will be all that active. The team is pretty successful as it stands, and I'm not sure that Lightning GM Steve Yzerman's going to want to tamper with that success. If nothing else, being a captain for a couple of decades for a successful NHL team has likely taught him that team chemistry is a delicate balance, and you don't mess with that unless you absolutely have to. Especially if the team's doing well, as the Lightning have been this season.If there's a great deal to be had for a position that he needs to fill - such as a power forward to replace Ryan Malone, or perhaps another defenseman - then he may make another savvy trade. But other than unloading goaltender Mike Smith onto another team, I just don't see another major trade happening for this team before the trade deadline.
These past few games (against the "big guns": Philly, Detroit, Washington) may force Stevie Y's had at the deadline. Or at least as much as anything could, that is. Yzerman is not the kind of "knee jerk" GM to panic after a couple of games like these, where the Lightning get behind early and have to scratch and claw to catch up, only to fall right behind again. This team has shown itself to be a resilient squad, but everybody steps it up as the playoffs close in.
I'm guessing the amount of activity at the trade deadline is going to depend on how long Mike Lundin will be out and does he consider any replacements in the system already. Since they already know Bugsy is out for extended time they've had some time to look for internal replacements (Johan Harju, et al) but if they are not suitable, then he may want to look at a minor trade or two. Yzerman has repeatedly said he would not trade the team's 1st or 2nd round picks, but would he consider moving a 3rd rounder and a minor leaguer or two, possibly a goalie prospect?
I don't want the Lightning to go out and try to make a huge splash in the trade pool; I'd be happy with just a tiny drop or two and for heaven's sake, please don't make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. This team doesn't need a lot of changes, just a few tweaks.
The only thing I want from the Lightning is to do what they need to do. If that's standing pat because they can't find a worthwhile deal, so be it. No one says that a team has to make a move at the trade deadline, nor does making moves guarantee where a team will finish in the standings or how far they will get in the playoffs.
The Washington Capitals re-arranged their roster greatly at the 2010 trade deadline, only to bow out in the 1st round of the playoffs. I’ve seen baseball teams sell off much of their organizational depth in order to make it to the World Series, only to come up short of the world title – and setting themselves back for years upon years in player development because of it.The Bolts are only now just getting around to adding depth to their system. It'd be a travesty to trade it (be it players or draft picks) off for a single playoff push.
Don't Trade Vinny:
I'm not sure 'active' is the word I'd use, in terms of desire for the deadline. Aggressive would be more apt. I'd like to see Stevie go for his guy, whoever he decides that is. Too many guys this season have exceeded expectations placed on them when they were acquired. Many more that have failed to meet expectations.
Long story short, and I've said it many times, I trust Stevie. He'll do what's right this deadline.
Even with the early trade of Eric Brewer I think the defence for the Lightning still needs some work, so I wouldn't be surprised to see if Yzerman tries to make another trade. Whether this will be more active than previous years? Considering that the last couple of years was like a erratic random sell off of our team, I would say that this years' trade deadline will be more subdued.
Make sure you check out the answers to the previous question, how will injuries impact where the Tampa Bay Lightning finish in the standings.