Looking Back on Day One, Looking Ahead to Day Two
Remember how we said in our pre-draft preview there's an age-old question at draft time about whether a team drafts for need versus the best player available (BPA)? Remember how we said that, in all likelihood, the team that selected Jonathan Drouin over Seth Jones when it clearly needed a righty d-man would surely take the BPA? You do? Yeah, well, so much for that. The Lightning reverted back to the needs-based approach they employed in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft when they selected Slater Koekkoek, despite red flags on the health of Koekkoek's shoulder. Tonight, holding the 19th overall pick, the Lightning again made a needs-based pick and again chose to bypass some considerable red flags:
PHILADELPHIA –The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Jason Garrison, the rights to forward Jeff Costello and a seventh-round pick at the 2015 NHL Entry draft from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for their second-round pick in 2014, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Garrison, 6-foot-3, 222 pounds, played in 81 games with the Canucks last season, recording seven goals, four power-play goals and 33 points. He ranked fifth on the team overall for points and led all Vancouver blue-liners. Garrison averaged 20:53 in ice time per game in 2013-14, which ranked fourth among Canuck defensemen.
A native of White Rock, British Columbia, Garrison has played in 318 career NHL games with Vancouver and the Florida Panthers. During his career he has amassed 38 goals, 16 on the power play, and 108 points. He finished third among all NHL defensemen for goal scoring in 2011-12 with 16. He has appeared in a total of eight playoff games, recording a goal and three points.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward J.T. Brown to a two-year, one-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Brown, 5-foot-10, 172 pounds, appeared in 63 games with the Lightning last season, posting four goals and 19 points while averaging 13:02 in ice time per game. He ranked fourth among Tampa Bay rookies for assists and points. Brown also played in all four Stanley Cup Playoff games in 2014, notching two assists. He was tied for the team lead for helpers and ranked tied for fourth on the team for points. Brown also saw his average ice time increase to 14:59 during the postseason.
With the draft around the corner and the most significant free agent signing in the books, it’s time to take note of what Steve Yzerman and the Lightning have to work with at all levels.
The caveat here is that spots are earned in workouts and camp and not on computer screens, so this is just fun speculation and subject to change.
Here’s a look at what the Lightning would probably need to look like if they are to become a conference contender:
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Ryan Callahan to a six-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
"We are pleased to announce that we've reached an agreement on a six-year contract extension with Ryan,” Yzerman said. “He's proven to be a fierce competitor and outstanding leader who fits very well with our team."
“I couldn’t be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career,” Callahan said. “Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be.”