The Lightning are contenders, there's no way to hide that fact or downplay that. They're at the top of the East and at the top of the league right now and they are going to be vying for the Stanley Cup if they keep playing hard in the weeks ahead....
But I am starting to realize that, with the trade deadline looming, many of the Lightning fans out there might be aiming a bit too high with who Jay Feaster might be keenly interested in for the Playoff run.
Oh sure, the dominant talk is Vaclav Prospal and Prospal is a former Bolt -- not a big shake up there. But then you have people who take the Daryl Sydor trade to heart and they had actually thought Robert Lang could be the next acquisition.... Or Brendan Witt. Or Jeff O'Neil... Or some other big name.
That's not Feaster's MO. That's not the Lightning's MO for that matter.
I'm not saying the Lightning aren't going to be players in the next 4 days with the Deadline, but I am saying that Feaster isn't going to bring in a big name... Prospal isn't a huge name - his contract is huge and he played huge last season for the Bolts, but he's not a big name. I could see him sifting through the waiver bin to pick up another player (Brad Norton would have been a great pick up for depth but the Capitals got him first) but I don't see him trading for the big names available. In fact, the Lightning don't have that many prospects to deal off as is - they aren't stocked full, though Rick Dudley did put stuff back in the cupboard during his tenure as GM. Trading off prospects and picks to vie for the Cup this year doesn't guarantee the team will have a winner in the future - especially if the team doesn't have anything in it's system in the future because it dealt off for the now.
Just because the Lightning are on top, I don't see them being major players at the deadline... I see them being smart players and getting by with brains instead of bucks... but that's just me.
It would seem Tom over at Canucks Corner and Brian Burke - the Canucks GM -- gets it. Don't give in to the pressure to make a move.