Jones/Times Mention Three Potential Picks

Work on a deal for a starting goaltender continues [url=http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/24/Lightning/Goalie_still_tops_Lig.shtml]according to this morning's article by Tom Jones in the St. Pete Times[/url], but don't expect the Lightning to go for a goaltender or a defenseman with their top draft choice. Instead, Jones mentions Cape Breton's James Sheppard, Vasteras' Patrik Berglund and Barrie's Bryan Little, all forwards, as potential choices for the Lightning. Interesting note: the Lightning's draft list is apparently only 80 players deep this year because the club is only looking for players which meet their high character standards.

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Goaltender

Ok, the only thing that counts is to find a goaltender for the upcoming year. I would be willing to part with any of the following: Mary St. Louis - Contract and Age are an issue. Still has some trade value. The downside is he does have leadership skills which this team does seem to lack. Brad - Should fill that role as I don't see Viny ever acheiving that level of play. Too many big skates and his teamates know that more than you or I. Freddy Modin - This would really hurt as he is a personal favorite. However, still has trade value, skills (which will begin to diminish, speed is not his forte) He is the teams best defensive forward but I would give it up for a rock between the pipes. Ruslan Fedetenko - There is still a lot of hockey in this one but to me he vanished last year during the season. It is possible he just does not have the legs / speed to play in the new style game. There were stretches of games when you looked at the score sheet he played 15 - 18 minutes and you never saw him in the game. For defence men that is what you want but for a power forward I don't think so. He was superb in the Stanley Cup finals but I did not see the follow up in the 05 - 06 season. Cory Sarich - Has become slow slow slow..... in this game speed is the key. Paul Ranger is the next great d-man for the Bolts. I think Cory is in the same boat as Kubina, they have skills but not as top line players due to lack of speed. I do not expect Kubina to be back he wants a 5+ million contract won't happen unless someone is foolish. For a combination of those players we should be able to find a better goalie than Grahame and/or Burke. Nabokov not Giguere is my choice. Denis???? Too me looked like the reincarnation of Grahame. Although I admit not seeing that many of his games. Go Bolts!

Re: Trade Possibilities

You don't trade St. Louis unless you have to. He was strong down the stretch into the playoffs, far stronger than Modin. You don't trade Fedotenko unless you have to because he's coming off a career season in which he finally broke through the 20 goal barrier. He's got more left in the tank than Modin who arguably was the Lightning's worst forward in the playoffs. They're going to be able to re-sign Sarich at a reasonable price because of the poor season he had last year. I'm perfectly happy to give him a one-year rather than have three holes to plug instead of two as we're already still trying to replace Cullimore's physical presence and we're probably going to lose Kubina. Denis is nothing like Grahame.

We must be watching different teams!!!

Pete, Marty spent more time falling down in the corners this year than skating. He is being paid 5 - 6 mil you will need the room for a real goalie under the cap. Feds a breakout year? In the 'new' game 20 goals for a scorer is nothing to write home about. You are correct in that their is more left in the tank than Modin on that we agree. Sarich had a terrible year and I think for the same reason Cullimore struggled in Chicago. They are not skaters and without the ability to do the hug at the blue line, corners and in front of the net both players are hampered. In today's game the 'D' men need speed and size which is not the strenght of either of those players. Yes, Kubina is gone and that is a hole the idiot wants 4/5 mil in his dreams. Someone will pay but not the Bolts. We do need a physical 'D' man but one that has some speed is hard to find and will be costly. Hopefully we have someone in the minors to fit that bill. I only saw Denis play about 5 games..... and I was not impressed and he looked a lot like Grahame..... with the Glove hand goals. I will defer to you if you have seen more of his games, but what I saw was not good. So I guess we agree to disagree and where is that trade for a real goalie. I have the season tickets and will be upset if what we go back with is the finns from europe. Modin I agree was a dissapointment in the playoffs and there is no upside in his skills. However, the discussion is what do you give up for a 'real' goalie? IMHO these players are the trade bait. So I guess we agree to disagree and where is that trade for a real goalie? As a season ticket holder I will be very upset if what we go back with is the finns from europe in goal. Mike

Re: Trade Possibilities

The cap went up $5M which more than covers Richards' new raise and if you were to trade Modin and add that $2M+ to the roughly $3M from Kubina and Grahame leaving as UFA's there is roughly $6M to play with to get a new goalie and defenseman. The assumption that St. Louis has to be traded to make room under the cap for a goaltender doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Marty was arguably the Lightning's best forward in the playoffs. I foresee them giving him one more year to try and get back to his level of two seasons ago unless some of this Luongo to Tampa talk turns out to be true. Fedotenko has been steadily improving over the past 3 seasons. I'd be less inclined to move him out the door than Modin. Sarich skates very well for a man his size. The steps he took backwards this year were in the mental game, it has nothing to do with him being physically unable to perform to a high level. If you trade him then you're stuck trying to plug two holes in the blueline corps. I just don't see it happening. Denis is more technically sound in his sleep than John Grahame ever was. You're talking about the difference between a technically sound, classically trained French Canadian butterfly goalie and a guy whose style has been most diplomatically described as "unorthodox" and others have called "the Hungry Hungry Hippo style" of goaltending. Seriously, there's no comparison there.

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