Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Trib: Lightning Leaning Towards Center Help

Erik Erlendsson [url=http://www.tbo.com/sports/lightning/MGB90574POE.html]previews the Lightning's draft philosophy a bit in tomorrow's Trib.[/url] In many ways echoing Bolt Prospects' own analysis of the Lightning system, Feaster confirms the team feels safe switching their concerns from any specific positional need to taking the best player available. Goaltender, apparently, is not a priority for the team as Feaster cites [url=gerald-coleman]Gerald Coleman[/url], [url=jonathan-boutin]Jonathan Boutin[/url], [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url] and [url=vasily-koshechkin]Vasily Koshechkin[/url] are already in the fold. Instead, Erlendsson hints the team is styill looking for skill up front, particularly at the center position. Bolt Prospects lists scoring line center and offensive defenseman as the Lightning's two primary needs in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Most intriguingly in the article, Feaster puts a trade [i]up[/i] on the table as well as a trade down to pick up additional draft choices. A move up would allow the Lightning to dip into the very deep pool of centers available in the first 10-12 picks of this draft. A move down would allow the Lightning to take an offensive defenseman prospect without potentially reaching at 15.

TSN's Tip: Tampa Will Go Off The Board For Goalie

TSN released its mock draft today, and again, Tampa is falsely accused of having a shallow pool of goaltenders to develop. TSN not only has Tampa taking a goalie at 15, but going off the board to take the Everett Silvertip's Leland Irving ahead of Jonathan Bernier and Riku Helenius as the draft's first goalie. Irving, who is not an ideal Jeff Reese goaltender in size at 6-0, had a terrific playoff run for the 'Tips and has good numbers (1.91 GAA, .925 sv%), but was rated the No.3 North American goalie by ISS and the No.37 prospect overall by The Hockey News. TSN cites Irving's rising stock as a reason he'll make the jump up to 15.

Fox Sports Mocks the Draft

Fox Sports [url=http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/story/5712486]has posted their mock draft[/url] for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft that will be held in Vancouver on Saturday. With the 15th pick they have the Lightning selecting Minnesota high school star Mike Forney. The pick is actually better than their rationale, but count me among those who would be highly disappointed if Bryan Little fell to 15 and the Lightning actually passed on him.

Lightning Looking to Deal #1 Pick

SPTimes.com [url=http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/17/Lightning/Habit_of_draft_shakeu.shtml]finally managed to fix the link to Saturday's article by Tom Jones regarding Saturday's NHL Draft in Vancouver.[/url] Jones points to the good chance the Lightning could deal their pick and a forward like Fredrik Modin or Ruslan Fedotenko to try to acquire a goaltender the caliber of the Ducks' J.S. Giguere or the Sharks' Evgeny Nabokov. In the article Jay Feaster also echoes the position of Bolt Prospects that the Lightning have built up significant positional depth and are now in a position to focus on taking the best player available. In particular, the organization points to its depth in terms of prospects on defense and between the pipes.

John Grahame

I personally have a varying opinion about John Grahame than the average Lightning fan. Most fans want someone new between the pipes, I don't. Most fans will compalain that because of him the team faltered. I disagree with that. I'll admitt that he wasn't as consistent as he should have been. However, this was his first year being the number one guy. The first year isn't always as easy as Ryan Miller or Henrik Lundqvist would make people believe. Also keep in mind that there was the lockout last year. To go from backup, to starter with a year off in between, that isn't an easy job. Please also remember the rule changes, before he was just a guy being given a shot at a job he knew, now he's a guy given a shot at a job he doesnt know very well.
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