Tampa so far wins the "Offseason Award". After adding a former Phoenix Scout the club stepped up and added much needed support on the wings. They not only brought in Ryan Malone,but added some extra veteran leadership with Gary Roberts.If people think that Malone had career year playing with Malkin,wait till he gets his shot to play with Vinny! I still can't imagine how Tampa finished last and managed to steal Steve Stamkos # 1 overall. There is no way that this club was a last place team. However they had c level wings skating with very adequate centers. After a deadline move to add Halpern and Jokinen from Dallas the team was already short in the win column and the shotcommings of subpar goaltending took it's toll.
I like Mike Smith in goal and he will have a shot at stealing some wins with this high power offense. No longer with the club share the likes of Jason Ward and Jan Halvic ( former Rangers) battleling with superstars. Today they have added star depth to play with some of the best talent in the world. After going over their roster I see they now have added Brian Rolston too. This is another great move by this club adding another wing to play along Halpern( when hes back) or adding more support on Vinny's wing. But the biggest thing this gives Tampa is insurance on the Power Play as Rolston may Quarterback the power play on the first or second unit,or move Dan Boyle to free up some salary. There will be plenty of sutors for Boyle, as the free agent D-man market is closing up. Lilles is back with the Avs and there is going to be several teams salivating over a few players. If teams are leary of driving up their caps then I can see them taking alternative routes to add a Boyle. I think the Rangers will be in on the Boyle hunt,as Tom Renny would love to add his former player to the lineup. The Rangers were in the hunt for him at the deadline but Boyle signed on to stick in the Bay. I'm sure Tampa will be looking to add one of the Rangers defensive prospects and a few of thier young wingers to start. As most of you have under valued what the Rangers have in thier stable, I'm sure Barry Melrose apprciates their game based on his press conference.
If Tampa trips up in goal again and Boyle remains in the fold, they could into look into moving Marty St Louis. By adding a nice B + B- player like Sean Avery,the Lighting could add some added support on the wing. Tampa could also shop next years first round pick as they surely will be picking in the back of the barrel next year, and Stamkos in the fold gives them that luxury.Hmmm I wonder if the Bulin Wall wants back in the Sunshine State or if Godzilla will be burning up the beach in his # 37 jersey? Helluva Job Mullet....
I agree that Tampa will be an extremely competitive team this winter with the additions of Stamkos, Malone, Roberts and the long-term signing of Vinny. Mullet Man could not have fallen into a better situation, one that will get even rosier if they are able to lock up Rolston who will make that power play downright scary. Your thoughts on them moving Boyle though are pretty fantastical. They spent the majority of the second half of the season trying to lock him up long-term, and they did, giving him what many would believe to be a bit much, but they believe him to be their franchise defenseman. Melrose is an old school coach, meaning he'll build the team defensively, a philosophy that has been evident in their FA signings (Malone, Roberts, possibly Rolston). Boyle will be the cornerstone of that philosophy, and comes with the added bonus that he can also move the puck extremely well. It also doesn't hurt that Tampa has two of the best offensive players in the game in Vinny and St. Louis to keep the offense clicking while the team builds its defensive mindset.
I cannot see Boyle moving out of Tampa anytime soon. One of the big reasons they struggled last season was because he was out and that hurt their entire game flow. Boyle will stay. St. Louis will go before Boyle if cap space is needed.