Bolts need long-term answer at goalie

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.

But that route seems to have hit a detour as Schneider – and not Roberto Luongo – played in goal for Vancouver’s final three games of a first-round playoff exit to the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings. That move was a changing-of-the-guard by the Canucks, and led to Luongo reportedly asking to be traded during his exit interview with Vancouver management.

In the coming days, Luongo is expected to submit a list of teams he would like to be traded to and you can bet Tampa Bay will be on that list as a desired destination.

But will Luongo be on the Lightning’s list?

Not likely as Luongo has 10 years remaining on a 12-year extension he signed two years ago and is owed just more than $47 million. That’s a long commitment for Tampa Bay to take on considering it has a similar contract with Vinny Lecavalier, and unless it was Lecavalier going the other way – again, unlikely – Tampa Bay does not appear to be a match.