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Written by Dani Toth | 27 February 2012

My first reaction:

SY traded away on Carter Ashton?????

Ok, now that this day is over with, I've had some time to think and gather my thoughts on how the Lightning fared today. There were only three trades and they were all to acquire defencemen.

The trades:

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Conditional 7th round pick in 2013 to the Red Wings for D Mike Commodore

I think the trade for Commodore is just to help our defense finish off the year since Hedman is out with injury again. Commodore is a UFA this summer and I don't think Yzerman has an intention on giving Commodore a contract past this season.

No idea on what the condition on the 2013 pick is

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F Carter Ashton to the Leafs for D Keith Aulie

I can see why he traded for Keith Aulie, but really, in exchange for Carter Ashton? Egads. Ashton was our 2009 1st round pick that I heard was playing well in his first full season with Norfolk. Aulie came to Toronto from Calgary in the Dion Phaneuf trade and played for Guy Boucher in the world juniors in Ottawa. Aulie played 6-foot-6, 217 pounds, has played in 17 games with the Maple Leafs this season and 23 games with the Marlies.

The PPP says he was traded because Keith Aulie is "not being very good at defence". Awesome. But then again, our defence is not very good at defence. So in an effort to get better, with time and patience this trade could work out in the long run. As with Hedman, defencemen just need time to mature.

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D Matt Gilroy to the Senators for D Brian Lee

Gilroy's first season with the Lightning turns out to be a one year thing and this 2009 Hobey Baker winner is on his way to another team in exchange for the younger, Brian Lee. He's an RFA this season, 24 and making $875,000. He was not loved in Ottawa because he didn't live up to the expectations with the other players drafted near him in his draft class, which were Marc Staal or Anze Kopitar and Marc Staal or Anzer Kopitar he is not. But with our low expectations and jobs aplenty in Tampa, Lee might stand a chance here.


So there you have it. Three more trades to add to the departure of Moore, Kubina and Downie for draft picks.

Today it felt like the Lightning changed up their defence but not for players that make me feel like we improved our defence at all. I feel kind of empty from today's trades and want to ask how this makes our defence better? Aulie and Lee have potential but there's still lots of work to do to improve our defence.
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Written by Dani Toth | 24 February 2012

This video is actually from Bruno Gervais' days back with the New York Islanders, so it's not new, but since I'm betting most of you have never seen it, I'm sharing my latest find. I came across it while reading an article posted on NHL.com which referred to his one time cooking show that after watching shows that he's actually kinda good with the camera. You be the judge on his video.

Besides the cooking show, he speaks honestly about how he lost his confidence while playing in New York and how tough it was for him to be scratched for the first part of the season with the Lightning.

Even though he was scratched he was still made to feel like a part of the team because of the routine he went through:

"When I started playing I felt confident -- being in the lineup wasn't anything new because I was part of the routine," Gervais said.  "The little things make a big difference, like the routine before the game, the routine in warmup, lots of stuff that I had been a part of, so it all seems normal once I got in the lineup."-NHL.com

And now for the moment you've all been waiting for, cooking with Bruno Gervais:



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Written by Dani Toth | 24 February 2012

This is the face of the lead goal scorer and points leader in the NHL right now:

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43 goals and 73 points bitches

The three goal third period comeback was not enough...but it did make up for the whipping of a 1st and 2nd period that we witnessed no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 23 February 2012

Instead of trading away guys pre-puck drop, the Lightning have picked up forward Tim Wallace off of waivers. Maybe we just like former Pittsburgh Penguins, or we're hoping for a 2nd Alaskan assassin..but this should mean that one of the Norfolk guys will be sent down back to the AHL.

Press release from the team:

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed forward Tim Wallace off waivers from the New York Islanders today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Wallace, 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, has played in 31 games with the New York Islanders this season, collecting one assist and six penalty minutes. He’s also skated in 24 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, recording nine goals and 20 points. Wallace ranks tied for fourth on the Sound Tigers in goals and seventh in points.

The Anchorage, Alaska native has played in 55 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Islanders over four seasons, collecting three assists and 18 penalty minutes. He recorded his lone assist this season against the Lightning on December 6.

The 27 year-old has skated in 328 career AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Sound Tigers, posting 84 goals and 157 points. Wallace set career highs in the AHL during his 2009-10 season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton when he registered 27 goals and 41 points. He’s appeared in 55 career Calder Cup playoff games, compiling four goals and 17 points.


Want to know more about him, Peter Pupello has written a getting to know Tim Wallace article no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 22 February 2012

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Yesterday I stepped away from twitter for about two hours to do some work and in that span Yzerman continued to grow his stockpile of draft picks. His latest move of trading Steve Downie away for basically a 1st round draft pick was a bit of a shock to most fans. It was expected to see Dominic Moore and Pavel Kubina be traded, but I don't think many saw Downie being the next to go.

Over the years Steve Downie has grown on this fanbase and most fans have become quite protective of him. And by protective, I mean really protective to the point that they have lashed out at me on twitter for hating once for a Downie for a douchbag moment that I called out.

He came with baggage when he was traded with Steve Eminger from Philadelphia to the Lightning in exchange for Matt Carle. He matured in his few seasons here and really showed that he can do more than a recklass player. His reputation did not go away quite as quickly in comparison to how quickly he gained supporters in Tampa, and Downie often getting reputation penalty calls made against him. But for the most part, I think it can be agreed upon that Steve Downie proved here in Tampa that he could actually play. He still had moments of mental lapses, but he also outperformed expectations of him as a plaery. So with any trade of a key player that was one of those character guys, there is a feeling of loss with his trade to Colorado.

Today Erik Erlendsson tweeted that Steven Stamkos, who was his road roommate, said that it was difficult to see a good friend be dealt today. So it's not just loss on the part of fans, but by players too.

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But we all want this team to be better in the long-run and GM Steve Yzerman feels that drafting a lot of young players now is the way to do it. This particular trade was rather bold but there is no way to tell how much or little of an impact this will make until we revisit it in a few season. Downie was an RFA this year and Colorado has a need for a forward of his style, so this was a fit for both teams.

Puck Daddy wrote a post a little bit earlier on whether the Avalanche knew that Yzerman was turning Kyle Quincey into Detroit's 1st round pick. Interesting read for sure. From what I read in addition to Yzerman's answers during his press availability tonight, the answer seems to be yes but that in the end, this three-team deal achieved what each team was looking for. Colorado got a forward, Detroit got a defenceman and the Lightning got a most likely late 1st round draft pick.

In Yzerman's own words:

Initially, the discussions were with Colorado about Kyle Quincey. I thought more about him and talked to other general managers around the league as to what they were looking for and his name came up. You take everything into consideration: contract status, where they’re going to fit on your team, the type of player they are, and we had to think if we wanted Kyle Quincey or a first-round pick. I thought we should take the first-round pick.


And here is Yzerman on why he traded away Downie, Moore and Kubina:

Obviously, I traded three players for draft picks. These moves are made to make us better in the future. Any situation that comes along from today through the trade deadline and into the off-season is something we’re willing to look at. Our picks give us options. My goal is to win a Stanley Cup here, and I think we have to do some tough and difficult things along the way to do that. We need young players. We need to draft well and build that way, and this was an opportunity to take advantage of that and acquire more picks, and relatively high picks. The message to our players has been that I want to win a Stanley Cup and I’m going to do what I have to do to get us there.

When I got home last night and watched Sportsnet it bothered me that when they discussed this trade that a large portion of the highlights they showed of Downie was his fights in the league. Fighting is part of his game, but it's more part of his style of playing with emotion. He works really hard every shift on the ice and his ability to keep up with one of the best players in the league is what made him a favorite in Tampa.

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Written by Dani Toth | 22 February 2012

As we continue to just pillage the Norfolk Admirals for bodies to fill our roster in order to keep pace with the trades that Yzerman has been making, the Lightning get yet another win. This is all without the help of Lecavalier who is out with an upper body injury of some sort. Tonight was the game of really early period goals and really late period goals. Let's do a quick picture recap of the nights events.

The game started quick with a powerplay goal by our long-haired golden boy Steven Stamkos just 28 seconds in:

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That's number 41 fans.

Late in the 1st period Stamkos ups the lead by scoring his 42nd goal of the season:

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This guy is unstoppable.

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If I ever start tucking my t-shirt into my pants and wrapping my sweatshirt around my waist like the lady on the left there, please commit me for having no fashion decency.

40 seconds into the 2nd period Saku Koivu scores to make it 2-1

But a goal by Purcell two minutes later gives the Lightning the game winner and gives Purcell his 15th goal of the year:

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It also gives him one of the most awkward victory photos ever.

Speaking of weird photos, this one of the guy working some voodoo magic on Niklas Hagman is a bit off.

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Looks like he's trying to pet him. Creepy

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Bobby Ryan scores to make it 3-2 late in the 2nd but they don't tie up the game in the third and the Lightning win 3-2.


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Written by Dani Toth | 21 February 2012

Via the Lightning twitter:
And here is the press release via the team:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Brendon Segal from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Matt Fornataro today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Segal, 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, has played in 53 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League this season, collecting 13 goals and 25 points, to go along with 63 penalty minutes. Segal ranks fourth on the IceHogs in goals and is seventh in points.

The Richmond, British Columbia native has played in 92 career NHL games with the Lightning, Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings, collecting 11 goals and 22 points. He played in two games with Tampa Bay during the 2008-09 season, including his NHL debut on March 3 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was originally drafted by the Predators in the fourth round, 102nd overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

The 28 year-old has skated in 508 career AHL games with the Milwaukee Admirals, Portland Pirates, Norfolk Admirals, Manchester Monarchs, Texas Stars and Rockford IceHogs, collecting 120 goals and 233 points.

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