OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 20: First overall pick, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning poses onstage with team personnel during the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place on June 20, 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Brian Lawton appears no where in this image, as he was not an employee of the Lightning at the time. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Off the topic of the playoffs:
I'm trying to do the hockey media a service here. It's debatable if anyone actually takes the following content as it is - excuse me, as it was - or if they continue publishing the revisionist history of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft for the sake of propping the wrong guy up.
To put things in the simplest form: Jay Feaster was General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning from early 2002 until July 2008. Overseeing the 2008 NHL Entry Draft was one of his last functions with the club, before slipping out the door while OK Hockey continued its reckless re-tailoring of the Bolts..
Brian Lawton, while hired in the capacity of Vice President of Hockey Operations on June 25th, 2008 by OK Hockey, did not become General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning until October 22nd, 2008.
NHL.com writer Corey Masisak was quoted in today's St. Petersburg Times, saying that the Teddy Purcell / Jeff Halpern trade by Brian Lawton in March 2010 was only exceeded by Lawton's drafting of Steven Stamkos in 2008. The praise was, in part, tied to Purcell's performance Saturday afternoon against the Boston Bruins in game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Damien Cox, in November 2010, also heaped praise on Lawton for the selection of Stamkos in the 2008 Entry Draft. This was part of a larger argument that current Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was riding on the coat tails of Lawton's work
This smacks me as ludicrous, as Lawton wasn't even an employee of the Lightning franchise at the time of the June 20-21st , 2008 event in Ottawa. He was hired five days after the event.
To be direct: While there are moves that he can and should be praised for, Brian Lawton did not draft Steven Stamkos in the 2008 Entry Draft. Stop giving credit to him for it. Stamkos' drafting, along with other selections from June 2008 such as goaltender prospect Dustin Tokarski and center prospect James Wright, should all be credited to Jay Feaster and his scouting staff at the time.