Tampa Bay Lightning trade talk produces little to talk about
Every time commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday night, announced that a trade had been made, the crowd at the Bell Centre erupted in anticipation. Canadiens fans were hoping all the talk and speculation that Tampa Bay Lightning captain and montreal native Vinny Lecavalier would be traded to the Habs was about to come true.
But it was not to be. In fact, Lightning GM Brian Lawton said he did not get one call about Lecavalier. The Lightning made one trade. It sent picks No. 32 and 75 to the Red Wings for No. 29 with which it used to pick power forward Carter Ashton.
Lawton said there was one player he tried to move at various times of the evening, "But it would not have been one of our superstar elite players." He declined to say who it was.
But there apparently were talks between the Lightning and Maple Leafs about the No. 2 overall pick. Toronto GM Brian Burke wore a microphone for Canada's TSN television network and said Tampa Bay wanted young defenseman Luke Schenn. But Toronto wanted John Tavares, and after the Islanders drafted him No. 1, Burke said of the possible deal with Tampa Bay, "I would have looked like an idiot."
For all the talk of blockbuster trades around the draft, only six deals were made Friday night. Only one involved actual players as the Ducks traded Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle to the Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and three draft picks.
Why so few moves?
"It's more difficult in today's world," Lawton said. "That is some of the repercussions of the salary cap world. It's tougher to move pieces around, especially when you have a flat cap (it will rise only $100,000 next season to $56.8 million). ... And it's the year after (cap) that puts people on high alert. When you add all the factors together, it can stifle things."