Do you remember the beginning of the 2003-04 Campaign where Defense was a big question mark for the team? Some people in LightningNation insisted we needed a top 4 Defensiveman while others contended Lukowich wasn't a top-4 to begin with?
Remember how Sydor's acquisition silenced those critics?
Well, folks, tune up the chorus because we are down a top-4 defensiveman once again. Jassen Cullimore has taken the cash and ran to the Chicago Blackhawks in a Multi-year deal. Terms are not known at current but it is a multi-year deal.
This creates roster space for either young talent to step up and crack the roster (such as Andreas Holmqvist, Gerard Dicaire or even Mike Egener) while a vet moves into the top-4 rotation (Boyle? Sarich? Pratt?) or presses Jay Feaster to find a cheap replacement for Cullimore on the Free Agent market that fits into Tampa Bay's system.
Cost wise, this is probably all for the best... But from a title-defense standpoint, losing a key veteran always hurts.