The dust is still settling, the tectonic shift that has sent shock waves throughout the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise is over, yet the effects will be felt for the remainder of the 2011-12 NHL season and far beyond for the organization.
The deed, however, is done.
The Lightning lineup has significantly changed after the 2011 NHL trade deadline. Many moves had taken place in the lead-up to Monday's deadline, and still three more deals were concluded before the National Hockey League's imposed 3 PM cutoff..
Dominic Moore, Pavel Kubina, Steve Downie, Matt Fornataro, and Carter Ashton in exchange for the services of Brandon Segal, Mike Commodore, Keith Aulie, Brian Lee, and draft picks. Let's not forget the high draft picks.
In our special editiion question of the week, the Raw Charge staff as well as the Tampa Bay Boltosphere are asked to respond to this:
How would you describe the Tampa Bay Lightning's trade deadline moves?
Michael Hopey - The Bolts Independent
Anyone expecting Tampa to pick up someone to help on a playoff run was drinking the kool-aid. Their now set up with a bevy of high picks that they can flip in the offseason for a goalie or keep and rebuild this team for the future. With the trades of guys like Gilroy and Downie who have expiring contracts it becomes clearer that Yzerman is going to change the way this team is constituted. This season was a step backwards in the Yzerman/Vinik era; they are now set up to take a step forward each year for the foreseeable future.
Alexis Boucher - Sons of Andreychuk
After seeing a number of the trade deadline acquisitions, the word I would have to use to describe the moves is surprising. All signs seemed to point towards Monday being a very quiet day for the Lightning. Instead, Yzerman added some size and mobility to the defensive squad. Both Commodore and Lee looked pretty good in action last night, which was impressive since they only had a day to prep Boucher's system.
The Bolts still have quite a few extra draft picks in hand which will serve them well this summer, either in the draft or in obtaining a new goaltender.
Cassie McClellan - Staff
I have no opinion to offer at this time because I have no idea who any of these guys are. About all I can say is that it's a good thing Yzerman traded for defense and depth since that's what the team has been lacking. After that, though, I'm going to need to see them skate with the team before I can form any kind of assessment.
Matt Amos - Staff / Don't Trade Vinny
In theory, and on paper, Stevie addressed some issues. Obviously, time will tell, which has been Yzerman's shtick from the get go. As I've said before, I trust him, and I've watched countless other players I really liked shipped out, so, I'm fine with all this.
Disappointed he didn't trade Vinny Lecavalier for Cory Schneider, Tuukka Rask, Jonathan Bernier, and Rick Nash, but what can you do?
Dani Toth - Staff / Lightning Hockey Blog
I would say that the Lightning did what I expected them to do.
I expected that they would make the moves in order to acquire draft picks or young defencemen, which is what the final result was. Although I didn't foresee Downie or Ashton being traded, the picks gives us possibilities for the future. This rebuild will be difficult but I have a lot of trust in what Yzerman and Co. are doing.
Clare Austin - Staff
One word: shrewd. Picks are incredibly important for a club looking for long-term improvement. And turning a forward-laden franchise into one with the beginnings of a young d-corps in one day is nothing short of amazing. The loss of roster players hurts, but it could have been even more disruptive than it turned out to be. A LOT more disruptive.
I think the team will miss Downie. The fighter-scorer is becoming more and more important in this salary-cap world, and they are not very common. But it was one of those situations where you just had to give up a player you'd rather keep. The loss of Carter Ashton hurts, too, although more in that "what might have been" way.
All of this could still go south, especially if Hedman's going to have trouble staying healthy. But that's true of any move based on projecting future performance. Looking at it right now, without benefit of hindsight, Yzerman has managed to acquire the kind of options many GMs struggle to attain. It's pretty clear, though, that when he looks long-term, he's looking at ten years down the road, not just four or five. That's how long it takes to develop a farm system into the reliable foundation of an organization.
Clark Brooks - Staff / Ridiculously Inconsistent Trickle of Consciousness
Flexibility, options, choices. Whatever you want to call the end result of all of this, it's something Yzerman needed that he didn't have before. I approve and I can't wait to see what he does with all those shiny, waiting-to-be-unwrapped presents...err, draft picks.