Could it be too early to analyze next year’s UFA players? Of course not!!! Here’s a breakdown of the three forwards that are entering their final year with the Lightning. We will be looking at their stats, potential, and what I think each of them will need to do to remain relevant to the future in Tampa Bay.
And, I’m sure they will all be putting their best efforts into securing a new deal with the Bolts as there’s a good chance the team will be making a push for the Cup within the next year or two. Man, wouldn’t it stink if they didn’t win it all this year but did the next year, and these players didn’t make “the cut” for a new contract? Well, let’s start by taking a look at just who it is we are talking about…
#18 Adam Hall
The 6’3″ center recently re-signed with Tampa for one year, and there’s enough to understand why GM Steve Yzerman is “pleased to have Adam return to the Lightning for another season.” For starters, he led the team in face-off percentage winning 55% and a total of 360 face-offs ranking him 4th overall in the League. Hall also played all 82 games last year adding 7 goals with 18 points total. Though he’s not known for his point producing abilities, he is a capable two-way forward that led the team with 152 hits and was third among the Bolts forwards with 59 blocked shots.
Surely, Adam Hall will be pushing for the Cup… he knows how close they came last year, and being a potential UFA next Summer is far from his mind now as he prepares for the upcoming season.
#22 Ryan Shannon
Off-season UFA pickup is new to the Lightning organization, and it is yet to be seen how he will fit into the lineup. However, here’s a look at what he has done over his career: played 260 games with three separate teams (latest being Ottawa), scored 31 goals and 56 assists and has averaged 13 minutes on ice per game. In his last two years with the Senators, Shannon has taken 227 shots on goal. So, with the net presence of the Bolts lineup we can expect his assist totals to more than likely increase off of tap-ins.
We don’t really know what to expect out of Shannon, but we can only hope that Yzerman’s uncanny ability to pickup value last year in other teams’ refuse will translate across the board.
#19 Dominic Moore
Eight teams in seven years definitely earns Moore the title “Resident Journeyman”, so should he have a theme song by Journey? I would vote for “Don’t Stop Believing”, but I regress…
Moore has always reminded me of the Little Engine That Could, because of his “no quit” attitude and his dedication to every team for which he has played. He is a tenacious grinder that is coming off of a pretty strong season that saw him score a career-high 18 goals (he also added 14 assists – not a career-high, but second). He also added 11 points (3 goals) in last year’s postseason, and should be able to play for a third season with the same team for the first time in his career. Here’s hoping that Yzerman sees the value of keeping him around another season or two.
In closing, I sometimes feel like Moore is older than he actually is, and I think it’s something to do with his bouncing around the Eastern Conference the past eight years. It’s OK Dom… as the great Steve Perry once said:
Working hard to get my fill,
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin’ anything to roll the dice,
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Click Here to add on Facebook
Follow on Twitter @TheFrozenPond