Nothing for nothing
It was supposed to be the blockbuster trade that finally solved the Lightning's goaltending problems after Cup-winning goalie Nikolai Khabibulin left for the free-agent money of Chicago. After a year of the failed John Grahame/Sean Burke experiment, the Lightning pulled the trigger on a huge deal, sending consistent goal-scorer and fan favorite Freddy Modin to Columbus for goalie Marc Denis.
But Denis was never the answer. He went 17-18-2 last season with a 3.19 GAA and lost his No. 1 job to Johan Holmqvist. This year, he was 1-5-0 with a 4.05 GAA and lost his spot on the roster entirely to prospect Karri Ramo. The Lightning waived Denis on Friday and, barring an unlikely chain of events, his Lightning career is over.
The only comfort Lightning fans can take is Modin hasn't exactly worked out in Columbus. He had 22 goals in 79 games last season and this season, injuries have limited him to only six goal-less games. He hasn't played since Nov. 5 and you have to wonder that at age 33 and 11 hard years in the league if his career will never be the same.
Isn't it funny that the throw-in player of the trade (Fredrik Norrena, a goalie prospect who went from the Lightning to the Blue Jackets) might turn out to have the most impact after the trade? Since the trade, Norrena has gone 29-31-6 and has become a reliable backup in Columbus.