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No names, but a direction

20

March

If the Lightning's three seasons with AHL Springfield did anything, it reinforced to Tampa Bay management it needs more offensive sharpshooters. The Lightning has no one in the minors it can call up for either a spark or to scare the underachieving forwards on the roster. Don't you think Torts would have loved to call someone up this season to either give Ruslan Fedotenko a jolt or find him a seat? GM Jay Feaster also acknowledged the lack of firepower was one reason Springfield has been so dismal the past few years.

So it should be no surprise Feaster and head scout Jake Goertzen said the team will target offensive forwards in the draft. The problem is, this year's draft is supposed to be generally weak. It is the 2008 draft, Goertzen said, which will provide great talent.

So, it will be a multi-year task but one that eventually should provide a payoff, though depending on how deep the Lightning gets in the playoffs that may be a more difficult challenge as its draft position will get worse. But take heart, Tampa Bay was once depleted at goaltender and is now flush and it still hasn't signed Russian sensation Vasily Koshechkin. Organizational depth at defense, while not golden and very young, also is better than in the past.

It is a long-term plan, but at least they have one.

    

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:37pm]

    

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