A new wrinkle on defense could be out there -- maybe more out of nostalgia on my part than out of necessity for the team. As we know Guy Boucher's system necessitates puck movers on the blue line, someone who we all know from the past has found himself on the market. S omeone who was part of the OK Hockey defensive sell-off of 2008.
Of course, it's a potential locker-room complication for the Lightning to pick up someone new and stick him into the mix. Someone gets displaced on the roster, and in the pipeline in general.
At the same time, you have to wonder if Shane is more of an answer than Mike Vernace, Mathieu Roy, or even Matt Smaby? Would Shane be a good addition to the mix?
With Randy Jones and Brett Clark, the Lightning have seemingly addressed the teams lack of puck-moving blue liners... Clark and Jones have both put up solid offensive numbers (coupled with defensive play) in the NHL. O'Brien has struggled since his dealing from the Lightning to the Canucks. Oh, he's played and turned heads... he's also had run-ins with the team... But he has not come close to replicating his 21 points scored in the 2007-08 season under John Tortorella.
Also, that pickup comes at a cost. $1.6 million against the cap this season. If he's playing lower-pair time, is he really worth such a cap hit when compared to others? The Bolts have four of their projected eight defenseman on the blue-line making over $1 million a season at current (Pavel Kubina, Mattias Ohlund, Brett Clark, and Randy Jones). It comes back to the question if Shane is an upgrade over reservists Smaby, Vernace, or Roy.
There are certainly more questions to ask about it... But I wouldn't look down on the pickup.