Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he first will try the trade route

The Lightning, leading up to free agency, will look to trade for a No. 1 goaltender, general manager Steve Yzerman said.

“My preference,” Yzerman said Thursday night, “is to go with a little bit younger guy that maybe has a little less experience that can step up and play well for us now.”

As an example he mentioned Semyon Varlamov, 24, whom the Avalanche acquired last summer from the Capitals for a first- and second-round draft pick and who had a respectable 2.59 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 53 games.

“And if we can’t do anything in that way, we look forward to July 1,” Yzerman said of the start of unrestricted free agency.

That equation is significant because it seems to exclude Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.

There has been much speculation Tampa Bay is the natural landing spot for Luongo, who during the playoffs lost his starting job to Cory Schneider and then indicated he would be open to a trade. As detailed here several times, the problem with Luongo, as far as the Lightning is concerned, is his contract. The 33-year-old goalie has 10 years left on a deal that pays $6.714 million for the next six years, or until Luongo is 39.

Owner Jeff Vinik has deep pockets, but even that seems too much to risk on an aging player.

6 Responses to Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said he first will try the trade route

  1. SabresFan220 says:

    It makes a lot more sense for Tampa to be looking for a younger, long term solution in goal over going after Luongo. The Blues still have an embarrassment of riches in goal, even after trading Ben Bishop to Ottawa. Between Halak and Elliott they may have 2 #1 goalies, and Jake Allen is still in the AHL. The big fish in regard to young goaltenders that may be available is Jonathan Bernier, and I think he could cost more in a trade than Varlamov did. Clearly the Kings have their horse in Quick, they won't be needing Bernier who probably needs to move on anyway. Tampa should be calling LA about him at the draft, I expect something to get done there.

  2. Steven_Leafs says:

    If I am LA, I wouldn't bother moving Bernier right now. His value is high but it should only get higher, trading him now because of a possibility that his value may go down is dumb and there is no hurry to move him since he is a RFA after next season.

    Now of course if Tampa Bay is willing to overpay and is willing to send Tokarski ( his value isn't high but it is a young goalie to put through the system) back then I'd be willing to trade Bernier.

    Now assuming that Bernier's value is higher than Varlamov's, and assuming I would want an overpayment:

    To Tampa Bay:


    To Los Angeles:

    10th overall pick
    19th overall pick

    If I am LA I would want nothing less than this but I doubt TB pays it.

  3. SabresFan220 says:

    That is a gross overpayment, even for Bernier. I'd expect a realistic price tag to be 1 of those 2 picks and a high end prospect, whether it's a goalie or another position. The Kings don't need a top end goaltending prospect, but they do need some forward prospects to replace departing UFAs like Stoll and Penner. They need some money to give Voynov an extension, so they can't just spend Stoll and Penner's money on veteran replacements.

  4. Steven_Leafs says:

    That is a gross overpayment, even for Bernier

    kind of the point, no way LA gives up Bernier when they don't have to for half of what I offered, they would have no reason to.

    LA doesn't need to worry about Voynov's extension right now either since he has one more year on his contract, of course at this point they will have to re-sign Voynov and both goalies at which point they can trade RFA Bernier for a bigger score.

  5. SabresFan220 says:

    I misread Voynov's contract length, I thought he was hitting RFA this summer. As it turns out only Dwight King is, and while they will likely still lose Stoll and Penner, the Kings could replace them. I do think that Bernier is worth more now with 1 inexpensive season left on his contract than if they wait until they have no choice but to trade him. It depends on just how badly someone wants him, although I would be surprised if it takes that much to get him now.

  6. Steven_Leafs says:

    remember he is a RFA next year not UFA, no team is in a must trade scenario when a player is RFA, they may feel like they can't afford 2 goalies making starter position money but they will not lose value in a trade (especially considering Bernier shouldn't make more than $2.5M per unless he beats out Quick which would only make Bernier more valuable than Schneider for example). Bernier will be worth more next year unless he has a fluke injury or something.

    Obviously his value is dependent on how badly someone wants him but LA does not have to move him at all. No chance in hell they trade him for anything less than an overpayment. Think about a fair value for Bernier right now, I feel LA would be stupid to let Bernier go for anything less than double that value since they do not have to move him and his value should only go up.

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