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Rumor has it Tampa Bay Lightning shopping defenseman Eric Brewer

Mike Carlson

"Eric Brewer, 7th defenseman," just doesn't sound right. Though opinions by Lightning fans on Eric "Brewbot" Brewer haven't been high at times, he's a capable defenseman who has been reliable for Tampa Bay on the blue line. He had been a vital cog in lean defenses of years gone by for the Lightning.

Yet 2014-15 is the contract year for the 15-year NHL defenseman, and with a revamped defense as well as a lack of roster space (which was emphasized on opening day with the loss of Richard Panik - the 24th man on the roster - lost to waivers) for call-ups when necessary), Brewer has suddenly become unhappy and expendable. Being scratched on opening night reportedly didn't sit well. And from the local perspective, the possibility isn't exactly being denied.

If Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is indeed shopping Brewer, don't expect a roster player in return unless the deal is larger than Brewer. A draft choice or perhaps a junior age / college age prospect are more likely the sought return than a roster player or AHL-level prospect that becomes part of a burgeoning system. If Brewer is shopped as part of a package, it's anyone's guess with whom he'd be shopped and what the return might be.

Luke Witkowski had impressed during training camp for the Bolts the past few weeks and was part of the final roster cuts, he'd likely be one of the first players from the Syracuse Crunch recalled in the case of an injury. It's fitting that his more physical game compares to Brewers, sans the veteran NHL experience though.