**As I was working on this post, the Tampa Bay Lightning pulled the trigger on Eric Brewer from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for prospect D Brock Beukeboom and a third-round pick. The following are my predictions leading up to the deadline along with updated analysis.
Written on 2/15/11
We haven’t seen GM Steve Yzerman work a trade deadline yet so it will be fascinating to see if he’ll stand pat or if he’s a wheeler and dealer. We already know that his skills on the ice are almost matched by his adeptness at managing his team on a business and personnel level.
Early on, the price standard has already been set with Mike Fisher going for a 1st rounder to the Nashville Predators and Kelly for a 2nd rounder. Both should have probably gone for a 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Will the negotiating chips be too high this year? This might be the case due to the lack of trading partners in the West when it looks like everyone but the Edmonton Oilers are in on the playoff chase.
With the Bolts loss of D Mike Lundin, D Matt Smaby, LW Ryan Malone, and C Nate Thompson out with injuries that put them in a position where they may only be ready come playoff time, Tampa Bay will look to shore up their defense and add a role player for the playoff push.
During Tampa Bay’s magical year to the cup, they added one key piece in Darryl Sydor that catapulted them to the cup. The Bolts will be looking for that key acquisition again. With the East getting stronger–Flyers adding Kris Versteeg and the Bruins adding Chris Kelly–Yzerman may be adding if only to keep up with some of the competition in the East.
While Marc Andre-Bergeron has filled in admirably on the powerplay, he never really replaced anyone as the Lightning’s powerplay quarterback. The names Hedman, Kubina, and Ohlund don’t necessarily elicit fear out of the special teams of other teams. The team has been lacking a PP QB since the old ownership shipped away Dan Boyle to the San Jose Sharks in a scene straight out of the soap opera, Days of Our Lives. Come trade deadline, Yzerman will be looking for a dynamic blueliner who can spread the ice and make room for his skilled players up front.
Unfortunately, the market for a true powerplay quarterback is always thin. If he is unable to find a deal and player that matches his needs, he may simply add a solid defensemen that can put up decent numbers, but also anchor the blueline. These players are the Adrian Aucoins, Ed Jovonovskis, and Ian Whites of the hockey world.
Additionally, there is word coming out of Carolina that Joni Pitkanen, Ian White, and Sergei Samsonov could be on the market. Each of those three players might be a good fit to plug up some holes and bolster the roster for the run. Unfortunately there’s no way that the Hurricanes make the Bolts trading partners since they’ll likely be seeing these players the rest of the year playing against them or worse, in a playoff series.
Look for the Lightning to make an acquisition from the west and package a high draft pick and prospect in exchange for a defenseman.
Each and every year one of the most talked about assets that buyers want are role players. With the loss of Malone and Thompson, there is no way that the Bolts don’t add at least a key role player by the deadline. Look for Yzerman to send nothing higher than a 3rd round pick the other way.
Names that would look great on the back of a Lightning uniform:
**Brewing a Winner and Looking Ahead
After delaying my post for a while, the most active pre-trade deadline in recent history happened and the Lightning didn’t sit pat. The Lightning picked up a leader and a solid defensemen that wants to be in Tampa Bay to solidify the blue line. That pick up was out of the blue (no pun intended) as Eric Brewer was having a career offensive year as the captain of the St. Louis Blues.
He ended up leaving for a cheap going rate too.The Blues could have easily demanded Beukeboom and a 1st or 2nd. This trade is highway robbery when you consider that the San Jose Sharks picked up Ian White from the Hurricanes for a 2nd rounder. Even though White is a proven blueliner with his prime ahead of him, Brewer is a player that the Bolts can rely upon to provide that leadership and stability for this year’s cup run.
A terrific move by Yzerman—while he’s not a powerplay quarterback, he’ll log great minutes and be a terrific addition to the locker room. We can expect solid numbers from Brewer now that he will have the likes of Stamkos, Lecavalier, and St. Louis pounding away at rebounds from point shots.
I expect that the Lightning aren’t done. They will look to add a solid role player by trading away one of their excess defensemen or a mid-round draft pick.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Tran
New York transplant from California, and an avid blogger and sports fan. As he tends to do every year, he picks an Eastern Conference NHL team to root for until they become too good and he fears for his team out west. If you want to talk hockey with me, feel free to send a line.