Over the past week Steve Yzerman and company dealt away Forwards Steve Downie, Dominic Moore and Defenseman Pavel Kubina. Downie was sent to the Rocky Mountains for Colorado’s Kyle Quincey (D), who was then sent to Motor City for a 2012 1st Rounder and minor-leaguer Sebastien Piche. Moore (plus a 7th round pick) traveled west-ward to San Jose in exchange for 2d and 4th round picks. Kubina was sent north to Philadelphia in exchange for a 2d rounder and LW Jon Kalinski. How has the team responded since the departure of Moore and Kubina? In true Tampa Bay fashion, with character and relentless play.
“Character, character, character. For us, it’s not about how many times we fall, it’s about what happens to us, how we react to it. We’re fighting.” – Coach Guy Boucher
How will the team respond now, without Downie? We will find out tonight.
“The Lightning keep trading players, then keep winning. Not sure that’s a long-term solution to their problems, but it’s been interesting to watch.” – ESPN’s Scott Burnside / NHL Power Rankins
Well after the dust settled and I dried my tears, having to see Kubina leave the Bay Area yet again, the team was left with a bunch of draft picks, a Left-Winger from the Adirondack Phantoms, and a Blue-Liner from the Grand Rapids Griffins.
In addition to our picks for the 2012 draft (minus the 7th rounder of course) Steve Yzerman and crew will have a 1st Round Pick from Detroit, 2d round picks from Philadelphia and Minnesota, a conditional 2d rounder (2012 or 2013) from Florida, and a fourth round pick from Philadelphia. From a planning or long-term perspective this bodes well for the organization. Steve Yzerman has always said he wants to build depth to make this team a consistent cup contender, and with the extra draft picks he can either flood the depth chart, trade for a higher pick, or maybe even spend them for a net-minder. (If you want my opinion, I’d say go for some defense and a net-minder [especially because they still don't seem too sure about Tokarski] before any more forwards.)
Now, as for the new winger, Jon Kalinski, he seems like a decent pick-up. He has been playing professional hockey for 4 seasons now, including 22 NHL Games with the Flyers (1G, 4A). Bolts Prospects has him described as “an abrasive player who can line up either at center or wing… two-way upside. Skates well” However he is a bit small for his height (6’01”, 181lbs) which doesn’t bode well for him grinding it out on the fore-check and in the corners, especially when you consider guys near his height generally have a good 15lbs on him. Otherwise, if he can tighten up his game a bit, we could see him on the third or fourth line in the near future.
With regards to the new Defenseman, Sebastien Piche, he is an offensive minded D-Man who can handle himself pretty well in a scuffle. According to Red Wings Central, he needs to work more on his wheels to get more time in the AHL before he can make his case for the big show. Piche has already been assigned to our ECHL affiliate, the Florida Everblades.
All in all, I’ll be able to deal with the recent transactions. I don’t like, but I can handle Moore being with the Sharks (especially if they win it all, then I can tell Blades of Teal, that it was a Bolt that got you there!) It will, however, torture my spirit seeing Kubina in Flyers’ Orange. On the bright side, we will no longer get Steve Downie Penalties (but honestly, I will miss him). As always beRELENTLESS and betheTHUNDER!
Take care and take it easy,