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RawTable: Tampa Bay Lightning trade deadline reaction — winners all round

No excuses in the playoffs!

New York Rangers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

In RawTable, the staff of Raw Charge comes together to discuss a topic relating to the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is a follow-up to our “Will the Tampa Bay Lightning chase Ryan McDonagh at the NHL trade deadline?” RawTable. Details of the trade are here.

Short answer: yep.

JustinG: So no Erik Karlsson....that’s cool, I didn’t want him anyway! (Just kidding, would have been totally cool with him).

Matt: Giving up Libor Hajek and Brett Howden from the prospect pool in addition to roster player Vladislav Namestnikov and the 1st round and 2nd round picks for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller feels like a steal for us.

Geo: Hajek felt like an expendable piece and was a player I figured was on the block in just about any defenseman related deal Yzerman would make. We’re alright with left-handed defensive prospects considering that we only need to fill out the third pair behind Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev.

Matt: Hajek and Howden are both exceptional prospects, but Tampa is flush with prospects so Yzerman used his surplus to make this trade happen. Losing Namestnikov hurts and I’m going to miss him, but someone on the roster was going to leave (despite reports stating otherwise) and he made the most sense. McDonagh makes this team far better on the back end and Miller can hopefully fill a similar role as Namestnikov.

Geo: Overall, I have to say that I’m fine with this trade. None of the pieces given up were a surprise to me. I’d like to have hung on to Howden as he would have made a nice third line center in two or three years. With that said though, we still have Miller now and Matthew Peca that can fill that spot in the next year or two. Beyond that, we’re still looking at Anthony Cirelli and Mitchell Stephens that could also step into that spot in the future as well.

Hardev: I can’t believe Yzerman killed two birds with one stone. He got his strong two-way defenseman and traded Namestnikov before he became a cap issue this summer. I’m so glad we have a GM who is proactive rather than reactive to pressure. Hajek grew on me this year but hes still a big question mark until we see him in the pros.

Geo: As far as Namestnikov goes, he was a player that last summer I felt could be a cap casualty. He’s a player I hate to see leave the organization as he was such a fun player to watch and grow up here. Some fans will lament “yet another first rounder wasted” but I don’t see it that way at all. He was by no means a failure by this organization or the scouting department. He didn’t quite live up to the billing of second line, playmaking center, but the Lightning still got a lot of very useful games out of him. And Yzerman sold him at perhaps his highest value. He can be a UFA in two years and the Lightning have replaced him with Miller who overall is probably a better player and also able to become a UFA in two years.

Justin: I’ll echo Geo’s sentiments about selling at the highest point. I think we are seeing what Namestnikov is - a capable third line center who has stretches where he can fill in on the top lines. After watching a month or so of Crunch games, I really believe Anthony Cirelli will fill that role within a season or two.

Geo: Also with Namestnikov, I have to mention what a great personality he had. I had the opportunity to meet him a few times and I have one friend in particular who is a huge fan of his and right now is devastated about him being traded. She met him many times and he was always gracious and remembered her from meeting to meeting. Funny, nice, just a good, down-to-earth person. Vladdy will be missed in Tampa.

Matt: I will say though, I was caught completely off guard with the addition of Miller. I figured since it was so late in the deadline that Yzerman would just focus on a defenseman and use the organizations own forward depth to help out the bottom half of the roster’s scoring. Instead, he gets Miller who is a good offensive player, but does have his warts defensively. If used appropriately I think Miller will fit in just fine. McDonagh is the key to all of this though. Tampa needed defensive help and it was rumored for a while that their target was Erik Karlsson or Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh ended up being the target Yzerman got. We can believe the reports about Yzerman using Karlsson as smokescreen (I personally think that’s been embellished a bit), but at the end of the day I think Yzerman got the player he wanted.

Justin: Getting Miller in the trade helps bridge that gap (he’s actually younger than Vlad). This was an a pretty good trade by Mr. Yzerman. He filled the primary need without weakening the current roster or costing a ton in resources. Knowing him, he might even find a way to recoup at least one of the picks that was included in the deal. Losing Libor weakens an already weak group of defensive prospects, but that can be fixed in the draft. Best of all, he didn’t ransack the Crunch’s roster to get the deal done!

Matt: This means Tampa is all-in though. No excuses, no mistakes, nothing. Tampa Bay is going for it this year and next year. The onus falls on the coaching staff and the players to get it done. That means executing their systems on the players side and the coaching staff adapting to what teams throw at them. The remaining games on the schedule are gonna be a tune up for the Lightning. Acclimating McDonagh and Miller to the team, solidifying their defensive structures, and getting the penalty back to a respectable level are the biggest things Tampa needs to do moving forward. They are not going to win anything with their pitiful excuse of a penalty kill.

But what did you guys think?


What do you think of the trade?

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    Solid. Yzerman got good value for what he gave up.
    (438 votes)
  • 6%
    Medium. Would have liked to give up different pieces for Miller and McDonagh.
    (37 votes)
  • 4%
    Weak. We gave up too much for what we got.
    (26 votes)
  • 7%
    Whatever, let’s just win the Cup.
    (43 votes)
544 votes total Vote Now