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Good or bad? Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman plans to keep draft choices



One of the few good things that came out of the past two years under the former ownership and management was a much better ability to draft. Say what you will about the on-ice product the Tampa Bay Lightning put out there, the team drafted a heck of a lot better than it had under Palace Sports & Entertainment.

Granted, it didn't take rocket scientists to select Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, but selections such as Carter Ashton, James Wright, Dustin Tokarski and Richard Panik, all good prospects, show the team did its homework. 

Sounds as if GM Steve Yzerman wants to build on that philosophy. With an eye on long-term stability while continuing to build organizational depth that was allowed to become almost non-existent under PS&E, Yzerman said on Sunday he will not trade his first-, second- or third-round draft picks in 2011 or 2012 as he looks at possible trade-deadline deals. Consequently, he said not to expect a flashy deal. 

The best quote from Yzerman was this: "I don't want to hold myself up to say we're not going to do anything. But I think it would be very difficult to add without giving something up of great value I wouldn't want to give up."

On the other hand, some might say with the team atop the Southeast, and considering how wide-open the East is, why not go for a big move (perhaps get one more solid defenseman to stabilize the blue line even further). With the way this league is, if you have a chance to really make some noise in the playoffs, you should go for it.

On the other hand, while this team certainly wants to win when it has a chance, Yzerman said up front when he was hired this is a long-term strategy, and given the salary cap and that no one really knows what financial constraints will be in place when the next collective bargaining agreement is hammered out, its is better to have depth from which to home grow your own stars.

So, I guess the question is, which philosophy would you rather see? Are you with Yzerman when he says he will keep his draft choices or do you want to see him perhaps keep them on the table. As even Yzerman said, "If something comes along that makes you better, you will (do it). But the reality of that happening, I'd be surprised."   

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 12:15am]


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