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Three years ago, a popular discussion in NHL circles was a debate about rookie goaltenders: if you started a franchise, would you rather have Steve Mason of the Blue Jackets or Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators as your building block?
A perfectly laid out plan often gets tossed in the trash before it can be executed.
Or at least, that’s what appears to be the case in regards to the Tampa Bay Lightning’s seemingly endless search to find a long-term goaltender.
Rational thought led many to believe the trades made by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman prior to the deadline were done with a primary focus in mind – acquire as many assets as possible and use them to work out a deal with the Vancouver Canucks to acquire 26-year-old goaltender Cory Schneider.
On Hockey Night in Canada, there was much speculation that Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins could be had for the right price, mainly because the Penguins might want to change things up and Staal might want a bigger role on a new team, as he is playing behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin right now. Said analyst Glenn Healey: “This player is not going to ask to be traded but the hockey world knows something has got to happen.”
Tim Thomas’s no-movement clause will expire on July 1. The same day, Tuukka Rask will become a restricted free agent. The Bruins could move Thomas and allocate part of his $5 million annual cap hit toward Rask’s next contract. Chiarelli, however, downplayed any possibility of trading Thomas.
While the Canadiens brass has maintained their general silence on the the hiring of their next general manager, reports have surfaced that they continue to speak with candidates. Renaud Lavoie of RDS, who seems to have good sources on this search, wrote on his blog this week that while Geoff Molson is not in any rush, it’s very possible the new GM could be in place within two or three weeks.