It’s pretty clear that the Lighting are going to have a few deficiencies in a couple of years. Heck, some of those holes are starting to shine through right now. The team needs more depth, better defense and most importantly a strong, young goaltender moving forward.
Dwayne Roloson is not going to be the guy to carry this team through Steven Stamkos’ prime and guide the team to their second Stanley Cup. It’s just not plausible. In fact, it’s becoming incredibly apparent that Roloson should have retired after last season’s nice run. No disrespect to Roloson, he has had a great career, but things are different now. He doesn’t look like the guy that was here last season.
So who do the Lightning turn to? Well, they have Mathieu Garon as a backup (or number one depending on how you look at thing) in the system. Does he make sense going forward? Not really. As a career back-up, Garon, 33, is not the guy to carry this team either. So where does that leave Steve Yzerman? It leaves him on the wide open trade market.
Two young goaltenders spring to mind when you think of the Lightning’s future. You have Cory Schneider from Vancouver and Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles. Hockeybuzz’s Matt Barry just talked about the Bernier rumors that are out there with an interesting take on things. Who would the Lightning give up for Bernier, or even Schneider?
Both Los Angeles and Vancouver are in win now situations. This whole trade triangle really interests me as these are the three teams I follow closest. So who does Tampa have that would interest either Vancouver or Los Angeles?
Well, you can bet that the price will be high for both tenders. That being said, I believe Schneider would garner more of a return that Bernier. Where Bernier has shown some weakness in consistency, Schneider has stepped up and established himself as a true #1a goalie in Vancouver. Perhaps this is what intrigues Tampa about Bernier; they believe his price will be lower.
We can safely assume that Tampa isn’t trading any one of the three main forwards on the roster. The salary trade off wouldn’t make sense and it would be a bad move for the team. Do draft picks or prospects come into play? Absolutely. Look at what Washington got in exchange for Varlamov from Colorado. Obviously Bernier doesn’t have the same resume that Varlamov had at the time of his trade, but the career potential is exponentially higher. Could a first round draft pick and a second round draft pick get the deal done for Bernier? Tough to say.
In Vancouver’s case, I would speculate that the Canucks would want Brett Connolly. To me, this is a much more interesting trade for the Lightning to consider. The strength of this team is obviously offensive fire power. Moving forward, Martin St. Louis is going to retire and a few other players are going to lose some of that offensive prowess. So maybe Yzerman would want to hold on to Connolly. That being said, if Boucher is content coaching the 1-3-1, does it really matter whether or not this group can score 15 goals per game? Schneider is the kind of young goaltender that doesn’t come around often. It makes sense to jump at the chance to get him.
If you ask me, the biggest concern for this team moving forward is goaltending. You know it, I know it, and even Yzerman knows it. This summer should be very telling about this team’s future. I’d love to see the Lightning grab either Bernier or Cory Schneider. Both are great young guys that this team can build around for many years. If I’m Yzerman, I would push harder for Schneider, but that’s just my personal bias.
What’s your opinion on the future of the Lightning’s goaltending situation? Does either Bernier or Schneider fit into your long term plan for the team?
Thanks for reading.
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Definitely need a solid young tender. I'd like to see Tokarski given a proper shot at things if results don't improve though, before a big trade.
And I still think they should look at Lindback from Nashville, would probably come much cheaper than the two you mentioned, but would get the job done more than well.
Norbs, thanks for the comment.While I understand the whole Tokarski argument, I just haven't been impressed with his play in Norfolk. Look at guys like Schneider and Bernier who were absolute all-stars in the AHL before coming up to the NHL. I think that it takes a lot to play well at this level right away. If you ask me, the Lightning need a guy who can come in and play well right away.
The Lindback idea is an interesting one. You've got to think that would be an easier deal to make than one with Vancouver or Los Angeles as Nashville doesn't really have the same bargaining power as those two. Once again, thanks for commenting.
You want Schneider? Gonna have to give up a lot to get him...he could be a Vezina guy one day soon
Velleman,Can't say I disagree that it would take a lot to get Schneider out of Vancouver. But understand our situation in Tampa with the goalies. This is a team in dire need of some young goaltending blood. I'd be pretty willing to pay a high price for Schneider.
I perfectly agree with your view of Tokarski, I would just like to see the kid get a proper run out at the NHL level before they go and pay a fortune for Bernier or Schneider. If the season keeps progressing as it is, don't think there'd be too much harm in bringing the kid up, even it is only for a couple games.
Also, i never completely understood why they let Desjardins go (could've kept him even for Norfolk at least?) He played amazing in the 2 games he did play in last season. Did his injury not heal properly? I could not find an answer to this last summer.
Yeah, after watching Roloson again tonight, I'm starting to think that any change will be good change. While he wasn't terrible, he didn't make the huge save needed to win the game. I'd like to see Tokarski get a chance, just to see what happens.
What do you think it would take to get Lindback out of Nashville? I love his size. Playing in Nashville and behind Pekka Rinne makes him highly underrated. This guy has skills.
As far as Desjardins goes, I too am a little confused. He was great for the two games he was up as you said. Signed with Colorado over the summer and is now playing for the Lake Erie Monsters. He didn't play much to start the season with them (not too sure why, probably due to injury though), but now he has played 8 games with STELLAR stats in the minors. In retrospect, it may have been nice to keep him.
I really didn't get why they let him go because Boucher even said how much he trusts the guy because they won the calder cup together in hamilton and how he was mvp etc. I was really shocked to see him go quite as quietly as he did.
Pretty sure we could get Lindback as a free agent if he doesn't resign in NSH, but for conversation's purpose, I think a 2nd round pick might get the job done. Possibly throw a lower end prospect in there.
Yeah the whole Boucher relationship would have made you think he would still be here. Well, the past is the past. What about a guy like Josh Harding in Minnesota? He's got to be one of the more underrated guys in the league as far as back-ups go. He'll be a free agent this year at age 28. There are lots of options.
Honestly haven't seen Harding play at all, but he'd seem like a pretty good option based off of his stats and what I've heard. On another note, we desperately need some secondary scoring right now. I don't think anybody's scored a goal outside of the top 6 in the past few games (Pyatt's the only one I can think of back vs the panthers in that 5-1 win). The losses of Gagne and Bergenheim have hurt the team big time, and with Connolly not being able to sustain much consistency so far, there are problems.
I've actually been writing a few blogs recently on the depth issues with this club. Going forward, I think it's going to be a huge issue. Although Connolly hasn't brought a lot of offensive consistency, I've been pretty impressed with his overall game. It's the rest of the bottom six I'm concerned about. It's becoming too easy to shut this team's offense down on a nightly basis.
What if they got both Schneider and Ryan...i know that wont happen at all but just think about how a insane that would be
I'm just writing a blog on why I think Ryan would be a great fit in Tampa! Stay tuned. Thanks for the comment.
Here's the blog on Ryan:http://my.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?user_id=140150