At Long Last, Lightning Acquire No.1 Goaltender

After weeks and months of waiting, the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired a No.1 goaltender. TSN is reporting Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster sent left winger and alternate captain Fredrik Modin and recently signed goaltender Fredrik Norrena to Columbus for goaltender Marc Denis. While the Lightning gave up a significant amount to acquire Denis, the importance of the goaltending position was made crystal clear last season as co-No.1's John Grahame and Sean Burke struggled as the defending champion Lightning snuck into the playoffs as an eighth seed after Nikolai Khabibulin left for Chicago. More analysis to follow.

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It's a big relief to see that the Lightning have finally picked up a proven starter, but it was at a steep price. This now opens up a hole in the first line, the powerplay, and penalty kill. Feaster is going to have a tough time trying to pick up a 2-way forward who can put 30 in the net.

I give you Ryan Craig

I'm sure they're counting on Craig to take a lot of Modin's minutes and Craig was already playing on the PK and getting split PP time. He was on pace for 29 goals over a full season in limited duty. They'll need another PKer to step in now. Perhaps they acquire a cheap vet for the third line. Perhaps a little more offensively minded than DiMaio. Or, they just re-sign Afanasenkov and give him PK time.

Marc Denis

I have already comented on Marc Denis. Based on what I saw IMHO he is maybe a notch better than the current tandem. Pete, who has seen more of his play than I thought he would be a good fit. Out at the site today reading some of the fan comments 'Inconsistent', 'In our section behind the goal we know him as Mr Rebounder' not sure that bodes well. Only time will tell. With respect to rebounds the question is where are the rebounds out off to the side? or, directly in front? I will be in my seats next year looking for that answer. Let's all hope for the best but this is not IMHO a world class 'goal tender' but maybe someone who is serviceable until Coleman or one of the others is ready.

Go on HFBoards

Go on HFBoards and read what the Columbus fans are saying about Marc Denis. What was quoted on SSN was the opinion of one lone fan on the TSN comments from the trade story. There are literally a dozen posts by Blue Jackets fans on HF Boards that tell a very different story. This guy is the diametric opposite of John Grahame. He is very mature, a very hard worker, he is technically well schooled and he has good athleticism and a good glove hand. If he played anywhere else in the league but Columbus the past 4 seasons he would be recognized as, at the very least, being in the same tier of goaltenders with Martin Biron. I legitimately believe that. And hopefully Johan Holmqvist can bring something to the table as well. I think Denis is fully capable of being the dependable every night starter for this team with a 2.80 GAA and .910 sv% or so for the next 2-3 years while Ramo and Boutin and hopefully Koshechkin grow towards being NHL starters.

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