Category Archives: Tampa Bay Lightning
Transitioning from the impact that the Stamkos injury has had on the Lightning, Friedman also mentioned that “their defense has kind of fallen apart. That’s been a big one. Yzerman is looking for a defenseman.”
The sentiment that Yzerman would like to add a Top 4 blueliner has certainly been a common theme for well over a year. We’ve barely seen any deals this season because the NHL trade market has basically been frozen because of both league parity – meaning a lack of defined deadline sellers so far – and salary cap restrictions that have handcuffed a large portion of franchises.
It was a few days after Yzerman’s trade comment that TSN’s Bob McKenzie had mentioned that he didn’t think the general manager would trade Jonathan Drouin.
“If there was something I could have done to this point that would make our team better, I would have done it,” Yzerman said. “We’ll keep trying.”
Yzerman said this trade market is as challenging as he can remember. There’s the salary cap, which has remained relatively flat the past few years, and likely will again next season. There’s the expansion draft in June. And with so many teams within striking distance of a playoff spot, Yzerman said many GMs are uncertain about what direction they want to go in. “It’s been very, very quiet,” Yzerman said.
LeBrun: “Priority No. 1, I believe, for the #TBLightning” is to acquire another Top-4 D before March 1.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) December 13, 2016
With Ben Bishop nearly getting traded to the Flames last summer, you’d think there might be some reflection by the Lightning goaltender heading into tonight’s game at the Saddledome.
You’d also be wrong.
“Zero thoughts,” Bishop said. “It’s over and done with.”
But Bishop, 30, felt it was close to a done deal June 24 at the NHL draft. Trade talks between Tampa Bay and Calgary got advanced enough to where Bishop was working out a contract extension with the Flames. That was important as Calgary was on the list of teams that needed Bishop’s approval for a deal.
In any pro sports league there are bound to be rumors of player dissatisfaction and coaches that aren’t giving players a fair shot. Such is the case with Jonathan Drouin who has recently been called off a suspension that was imposed for refusing to play again at the AHL level. In a bold move by Drouin and his agent, Allan Walsh, Drouin opted not to show for a January game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies. Having been suspended without pay for what was to be an ‘indefinite length of time,’ young Drouin has returned to the game and now it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.
Bob McKenzie was on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 on Tuesday morning.
On if the Canucks are talking with Tampa Bay about Jonathan Drouin:
“I think just about everybody is talking to Tampa. When I say everybody, I would say anywhere from 10-15 teams have pretty significant interest in this player, and I would lump the Canucks in that group of 10, 12, 15 teams.
“They were in hard on Jonathan Drouin… There hasn’t been a lot of results on that front, but I don’t think it’s been a lack of (activity).
Blundell, citing the same anonymous source who informed him that Mike Babcock would sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs if certain conditions were met, said the Leafs may be prepared to make a play for Stamkos’s negotiating rights this summer with the intention to pay $11-$12 million per year over an eight-year term.
The Senators are interested in Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, but only if the price is right.
The Montreal Canadiens have interest, there’s no question about that. I don’t believe that Yzerman – I was talking about Toronto trading within its division – I don’t think Yzerman has any in trading Jonathan Drouin to Montreal, unless Bergevin is so desperate that he’s willing to sell the farm to make that work. I don’t think that’s reality either.
“St. Louis said they wanted to wait until the All-Star to get a bit healthier and kind of analyze again where they’re at. I’m still looking at St. Louis as being a primary contender for Drouin.”
Stamkos can become a free agent this summer, and you can’t get through a couple of hockey shifts without speculation that the Toronto-born Stamkos will end up playing for his hometown team. Rumors ramp up even more when the Lightning plays the Maple Leafs.
Yzerman is finding the market for the young forward is tough. He tried to get a roster player from several of the 15 teams that were interested and when that didn’t work the belief is he’s now trying to get high end prospects in return for Drouin, the club’s top pick in the 2013 draft at No. 3 overall.
“Earlier this week we reported that the Lightning had made an offer to Steven Stamkos some time in the last few weeks,” Friedman said. “It’s believed that the average salary of that offer is $8.5 million dollars. We’ll see where that takes the negotiation as we head to the trade deadline.”