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With Mike Lundin out, does Lightning's search for D intensify? Is Radek Martinek an option?



It is no secret the Tampa Bay Lightning, in a perfect world, would acquire before the trade deadline a defenseman who can handle top-six minutes. And with Mike Lundin, who averages 20:31 of ice time on IR with what is believed an abdominal strain, and perhaps out several weeks, it is a safe bet general manager Steve Yzerman will be looking even harder to add a piece by Feb. 28.

There is no indication anything is imminent, mind you, and Yzerman has said he is going to be "cautious," but a name you might want to keep in mind is the Islanders' Radek Martinek. The veteran meets all the criteria necessary for a move, starting with the Islanders are going nowhere and are eager to dump potential unrestricted free agents before they leave after the season. 

Yzerman also has done a trade with New York GM Garth Snow (Dwayne Roloson for Ty Wishart) that seems to be working for both clubs.

Martinek, 34, has been good for New York this season. He is not going to provide a lot of offense as he has one goal and eight points in 44 games. He is 6 feet 2, 210 pounds but isn't overly physical with 19 penalty minutes. But he is only minus-4 on a team that has been outscored  by 36 goals and is averaging 20:42 of ice time. So we know he can play.

But he also would not be a huge strain financially. His contract is $1.9 million, so he has about $600,000 owed for the rest of the season. And if the Lightning decided to re-sign him, he would not be crazy expensive. You would, of course, have to make a judgment  on his age. But the point is, for the short terms he would not break the bank.

Again, not saying this will happen or even that it has been discussed. Just an interesting name as the Lightning finds itself with a pretty big hole to fill on the blue line.   

[Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 12:15am]


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