Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager and owner must be active at trade deadline

Not to put any pressure on Lightning GM Brian Lawton or prospective new owner Jeff Vinik, but there would be great value in adding a piece or two to the locker room before the March 3 trade deadline; not only to bolster the roster, but to send a message to players, coaches and fans:

"We're serious about turning this thing around."

For much of last season and most of this one, reports of dire financial circumstances were front and center.

And while the team did spend money last offseason on veteran defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Matt Walker, the lineup was filled out by players such as goalie Antero Niittymaki, left wing Alex Tanguay, defenseman Kurtis Foster and left wing Stephane Veilleux, who were willing to play on relatively cheap one-year deals to rebuild their longer-term value.

But the team's finances have stabilized with the sale to Vinik, who already is writing payroll checks while waiting for the sale to close and to get NHL approval for the transfer of ownership.

Lawton has said Vinik told him adding payroll would be okay if the right deal came along. In response, Lawton said he wants to be "aggressive" before the deadline.

Fans certainly hope so, but don't think coaches and players aren't watching closely as well. Bringing in one or more players who can help push the team into the playoffs for the first time in three years will go a long way to convincing skeptics inside and outside the locker room that Vinik has his eye on the ball and not only the bottom line.

So far, Vinik has said the right things, specifically, "I'm going to put the resources forth that are necessary to make this a successful franchise."

But just throwing money at the problem isn't good enough as we found out from the previous ownership's first season. Lawton has to be smart to bring in players who fit the profile coach Rick Tocchet wants (more gritty guys such as Steve Downie wouldn't be bad) and fit well into what is a pretty tight locker room.

Make the right deals, or at least try. It's a message worth sending.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager and owner must be active at trade deadline 02/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 13, 2010 6:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Most important stat in Bucs-Bills game

    Bucs

    Greg Auman talks about the uncertainty at quarterback for the Bucs as they go to Buffalo in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) intercepts a pass from Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  3. Bucs-Bills: Things to watch in Sunday's 1 p.m. game

    Bucs

    FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2017, file photo, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs past Atlanta Falcons' De'Vondre Campbell (59) and Deion Jones (45) during the second half of an NFL football game, in Atlanta. The Bills play against the Buccaneers in Buffalo on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) NY182
  4. Koetter: QB Jameis Winston will start Sunday vs. Bills

    Bucs

    After five days of uncertainty, Jameis Winston will be starting at quarterback on Sunday as the Bucs play at Buffalo, coach Dirk Koetter announced Friday afternoon.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) watches a replay while sitting out with an injury during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  5. Hobart president among fans going to see Ali Marpet vs. Bills

    Bucs

    Bucs center Ali Marpet went to college at Hobart, just over 100 miles east of Buffalo, and the college's president will be among a large group of fans proudly driving over to see Marpet play as the Bucs face the Bills on Sunday.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Nick Folk (2) is congratulated by center Ali Marpet (74) after kicking a game-winning field goal during the second half of an NFL game between the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. The Bucs won 25-23.