Make us your home page

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 GM Steve Yzerman in interesting spot as trade deadline nears

Steve Yzerman is in an interesting position heading into the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

Does the Lightning general manager play it safe and tinker around the edges to add depth to a team exceeding expectations?

Or with Tampa Bay challenging for the regular-season championship, does he add another bold move to the acquisition of goaltender Dwayne Roloson and make a serious run for the Stanley Cup?

It is a tricky equation given that the team's needs — a power-play quarterback and a solid defenseman to face opponents' top lines — generally are expensive.

Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, called up Saturday from AHL Norfolk, does not count. He is a power-play specialist with a huge shot, but he is not a quarterback, and he is defensively challenged.

So, what is the thought process?

Yzerman has said he will not trade his first-, second- or third-round draft choices in 2011 and 2012, though don't be surprised if he relents on a third-round choice if he can add depth.

He has no interest in trading for players who have fat contracts with several years attached, meaning fans of Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr, one of this year's hottest commodities, probably can stand down.

He also probably will shy away from players who this summer will be high-priced free agents and too expensive to sign, meaning fans of Toronto's Tomas Kaberle and Ottawa's Chris Phillips might look elsewhere.

That said, let's assume Yzerman decides his team is playing so well that he cannot ignore the possibility of a Cup run and must add another significant piece.

The model might be a player such as Maple Leafs defenseman Francois Beauchemin. The 30-year-old, at 6 feet, 213 pounds, has size. And though he is not overly physical, with 16 penalty minutes in 51 games entering Saturday, he is not soft and averaged 23:44 of ice time, mostly against top lines.

His contract, which pays $3.65 million next season, also is reasonable, and struggling Toronto should be a seller at the deadline.

The question is, will Yzerman be a buyer?

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman in interesting spot as trade deadline nears 02/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 5, 2011 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. AP Top 25: USF stays ahead of UCF, but just barely


    USF remains ahead of UCF in the latest AP Top 25 poll - but just barely.

    Quinton Flowers and USF dropped one spot to No. 17 in the latest rankings.
  2. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Breaking down the Bolts' record start


    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes! podcast, we break down the Lightning's record 7-1-1 start. Why are Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos clicking so well? Why Mikhail Sergachev is likely here …

    Why are Steven Stamkos, pictured, and Nikita Kucherov clicking so well?
  3. My AP Top 25 ballot: UCF moves into the top 15, Michigan falls out


    No major changes in my latest AP Top 25 ballot.

  4. Winston playing, Alexander back as Bucs face Bills


    For the first time since the season opener, the Bucs are fully healthy in the starting lineup on both sides of the ball, with LB Kwon Alexander returning today against the Bills after missing four games with a hamstring injury.

    Bucs LB Kwon Alexander talks with coach Dirk Koetter before Tampa Bay's game against the Patriots. Alexander is back playing Sunday against the Bills after missing four games with a hamstring injury.
  5. Sunday Morning Quarterback, Week 9


    Tampa Bay Tech Titans Michael Penix Jr. (9) throws a pass during the first half during the first half at Durant High School in Plant City on Friday, October 20, 2017.