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Don't expect trade to help goalie situation



I've had a couple of e-mails with questions, so I figure I can address any speculation the Lightning will make a trade to shore up the net. Never say never, but as it stands now, such a trade is very, very remote for several reasons. The Lightning already is about $2-million over its self-imposed $44-million salary cap, so any trade, unless ownership had a 180-degree change of heart regarding how much it is willing to pay, would have to include payroll going out. Who do you get rid of? The Lightning has so little depth, it cannot easily make a trade that wouldn't hurt it in another area. Draft choices? The team already is without a second-round pick next year thanks to the Chris Gratton trade. It has its first-round pick, though.

Ideally, the team would like to get Marc Denis' $2.8-million salary off its books, but the only way to do that, it seems, would be to package him in a trade with one of Tampa Bay's top players. And only 13 games into the season, there is no chance, none, Tampa Bay is looking to trade anyone off the top of the roster.

Denis, when Karri Ramo finally gets called up (more on the injured goalie later) could get sent to the minors, where he could be claimed for half price on recall waivers. That seems to be the most hopeful option, though considering he has looked shaky in his few appearances, that might be asking a lot. 

Then there is the pending sale of the team. It is unlikely, with the sale apparently progressing, though slowly, that Palace Sports is going to authorize adding to payroll while trying to keep the process on track.

So get used to the current situation because in the near term, anyway, it is unlikely to change. Remember, I'm not saying it won't just that it doesn't seem that way right now, and what that means is any improvement will have to come from within.

As for Ramo, it's not a stretch to believe he would have been called up already had he not gotten hurt, and next weekend marks four weeks he will be out with a high ankle sprain. Norfolk coach Steve Stirling said Monday that Ramo is skating on his own and taking "a few'' shots. Stirling said he is hopeful Ramo could begin practicing by the middle of this week and perhaps play by the Nov. 14 game at Hartford.

"We're not babying him, Stirling said.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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