Newspaper report says Tampa Bay Lightning wanted to trade Konopka for Boogaard
Interesting note in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday that said the Tampa Bay Lightning and Wild almost did a trade-deadline deal that would have sent Lightning center Zenon Konopka and a third- and fourth-round draft pick to the Wild for enforcer Derek Boogaard.
The Trib said Lightning GM Brian Lawton and Wild GM Chuck Fletcher agreed. But the deal fell apart when it was found out Tampa Bay didn't have one of the draft choices involved. By the time the deal was redone, the deadline had passed.
So, let's get past for a moment that someone, according to the Trib story, dropped the ball on what the Lightning had available for trade. A more interesting debate is the value of trading Konopka and TWO draft choices for Boogaard. Especially after Lawton said he was so reluctant to sacrifice the team's future by trading draft choices and prospects at the deadline.
One of the best aspects of this Lightning team is how close the locker room has become, something Konopka gets much credit for creating. Konopka even spoke about how he and Jeff Halpern, since traded, made it a priority this season to create a better locker room dynamic.
Konopka is not the most skilled player, and he has to increase his foot speed. But he is dynamite on faceoffs and isn't too bad a fighter with a league-best 33 bouts. Maybe Boogaard is great in the locker room, too. And his four total points are one fewer than Konopka, who beats Boogaard two goals to none.
But by trading Konopka, Tampa Bay would have lost its emcee/game show host on its bus and plane rides, and that is tough to replace.