Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman: ‘No Roster Changes…For Now’

May 26, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of Amalie Arena between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers during game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 26, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of Amalie Arena between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers during game six of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman says there are no upcoming roster moves, at least for now.

The Tampa Bay Lightning has had an interesting season thus far. When the season started, the Tampa Bay Lightning was considered to be the team to beat when it came to the Stanley Cup picture. Not long after the season started, things started to go downhill, and rather quickly.

Now, the team has passed the halfway point in the season, and from the look of things, the Tampa Bay Lightning was on track to play themselves right out of the playoff picture. No matter how much people dislike change, something simply had to happen.

Unfortunately, the injuries continued to pile up and no matter how many different line combinations Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper attempted, the players simply weren’t clicking on the ice. The whole situation is rather disheartening considering this is almost, in whole, the successful team from last season.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

This is where Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman came into the picture. On January 26th, Yzerman would work out a deal which would see Lightning defenseman Nikita Nesterov make his way to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Jonathan Racine and a 6th Round Draft Pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Yzerman’s actions left many people here in the Bolts Nation wondering “who’s next?” Obviously, there are many players with high trade value at the moment, but which player can the Tampa Bay Lightning afford to lose that won’t affect them long-term?

The good news is, this is a question that doesn’t immediately require an answer. Well…at least for now. According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Steve Yzerman has stated he expects no further roster changes…at least for now.

It’s clear a change needs to be made, but ripping apart the roster when there is still a slim possibility the Lightning can still find themselves in the playoff picture isn’t exactly the best idea in the world. Also, having something like this hanging over the heads of the already stressed out players isn’t exactly the best way to increase production.

Unfortunately, should the season take a turn for the worse, or at the very least doesn’t get any better any time soon, there is a real possibility we could be looking at some more roster changes. The Tampa Bay Lightning have quite a few players who need to be re-signed at the conclusion of the season.

Players like Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle, and Luke Witkowski are set to become Unrestricted Free Agents, where players like Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin, Slater Koekkoek, and many more are set to become Restricted Free Agents. Needless to say, this is a lot of contracts to sign with very little cap space to get the job done. Something somewhere has got to give.

Next: How Can The Lightning Get Back On Track?

Only time will tell how this story is going to play out. Thankfully, at least for the time being, the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans can rest easy knowing there are no changes coming in the immediate future. Hopefully, the Lightning has what it takes to get back on track against the Boston Bruins tomorrow night.