Question of the Week: Grading Steve Yzerman's first trade deadline

Question of the Week is a weekly feature that poses a question to Raw Charge writers and other writers within the Boltosphere, discussing the ins and outs of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This year has been a first of many things for newbie GM Steve Yzerman. Last week we asked our bloggers if we expected the Lightning to be more or less active than in years past. With the trade deadline having passed this past Monday, we can now evaluate the things Yzerman did or didn't do in his first year as GM.

Although it was actually quiet on the actual trade deadline for the club, the management team had been making a series of moves over the past few weeks. Starting with acquiring Dwayne Roloson in goal, powerplay specialist Marc-Andre Bergeron, defenceman Eric Brewer and getting rid of Dan Ellis' contract.

So that's the question we posed to our staff this week:

After Yzerman's first trade deadline has passed as GM, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being terrible and 10 being unfreakingbelievableYzermanyouareajedi) how would you grade his efforts on making the Lightning playoff ready? And why?

After the jump, check out the answers from our contributors

Matt from Don't Trade Vinny:

I'd give Stevie a solid 9. The additions that have been made are all adequate, but moreover with the cap space adjustments, he continues to build towards the future. He has not depleted depth, has continued to open up space under the cap wherever possible, and has maintained the most important parts of our current roster.

The impressiveness of his grasp of the locker room cannot be overstated. It's clear that the line of communication between him and Guy Boucher is not only fully open, but thriving in a way most teams would be envious of. Perfectly complimentary for each other, and Stevie continues to hit homeruns.


I'd give Yzerman an 8. It's so hard to say how this team will play during playoffs right now. Regular season hockey is so far different from the playoffs that it might as well be an entirely different hockey league. I mean, you can have a great regular season team, but then fizzle in playoffs. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, San Jose Sharks and Washington Capitals.) Still, they've managed to stay atop the Southeast Division, and second in the Eastern Conference, with pretty much what they already have. And that's definitely promising.

Will the Lightning go deep into playoffs with these players? I think it's too early to say at this point. But, as of right now, I'm cautiously optimistic about their chances.

Bill Philp from Hockey Independent and Lightning Shout

I think that Yzerman did everything that he felt he could do to help his team. Deadline day should not be the measure of trade success.

Bringing in Dwayne Roloson (A much needed #1goalie), Marc-Andre Bergeron (A power play quarterback) and Eric Brewer (A big, puck moving defender) prior to the deadline was exactly what the Bolts needed. Yzerman filled Boucher’s packing list of needs and was not able to find a "knock your socks off" deal at the deadline. I applaud Yzerman for not mortgaging the future by trading high draft picks for veteran rental players.The Lightning took care of their immediate needs just as the Capitals did in acquiring Wideman and Arnott. A GM needs to pay attention to what their competitors are doing, but he must take care of his teams needs and not overreact to the names that others are adding.

Is Tampa Bay playoff ready? That’s an altogether different question that has nothing to do with the latest transactions. The playoffs are a different animal. Only experience can prepare a team for the NHL’s second season. Yzerman can’t buy or trade for that. If I’m giving an overall grade for Yzerman’s work up to the trade deadline, I have to give him an A.

Clark Brooks:

I'll say 6 for this team, as in THIS YEAR'S team. Getting Brewer was a plus but I'm not sure we have enough to take us deep in THIS YEAR'S playoffs.

I'll say a 10 for this team, as in preparing for the future. In a way, to have had this much success in his first year at the helm is almost a burden for Yzerman; they weren't supposed to be this good this soon. So he had to weigh the short term benefits of seizing an opportunity (after all, the future is always uncertain) versus sticking to a plan for long-term success and I believe he did a great job of handling that dilemma. Parallels can be drawn to the Rays; the people that yelled and screamed when they didn't go out and bring in big talent at the trade deadline last year (and I was one of them...kinda) are going to be the same people who are pleasantly surprised at how good the team is this year and beyond.

John Fontana:

For the good of the club, long term and short term, I gave a 9 based more on moves leading up to the deadline than the actual deadline day silence. Yzerman did not mortgage the future for the now.. What was dealt was expendable in the grand scheme (Ty Wishart had yet to break into the NHL with the Lightning; Brock Beukeboom has concussion issues, and a third round pick in what's being deemed weaker draft year is a small price to pay). The addition of depth and skill in Eric Brewer, along with more stability in net (Dwayne Roloson) will be hugely valuable from here on in.

Other teams in the East also made deals to improve, but the fact most of those moves happened at the deadline or closer to it is the only reason why it looks like they made more or better moves.

The Lightning isn't a broken team, and hearing some of the wants for the deadline made it look like the team is in disarray or something. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Jon Jordan from Beasts of the Southeast:

I'd give Yzerman an 8 because I don't think he'd accept a 10 just yet, for starters. I like the fact that he found it just fine to sit put, once the price for any significant addition was more than any sane GM should be willing to pay in his position. This team has performed admirably - no sense messing with that, especially since you were proactive far ahead of the deadline, getting Roloson, Bergeron and Brewer for next to nothing in exchange.
Washington may have improved a bit but just how much will be seen over the long haul down the stretch and, if last night's snoozer of an effort against the Islanders (which they managed to pull off in dramatic fashion - ho-hum) is any indication, they still have a long way to go.

Thanks to all of our contributors for their responses to this week's question. Be sure to pay a visit to our friends from the boltosphere that contributed to this week's QOTW. Make sure you check out the answers to the previous question, do you think the Lightning to be more active at this year's trade deadline than they have been in the past?