TAMPA — Funny guy that Steve Yzerman.
After the Lightning general manager announced Thursday that he asked defenseman Pavel Kubina for a list of five teams to which he would accept a trade, Yzerman said, "This doesn't make it official the sale is on."
But a few hours later, Yzerman announced he traded center Dominic Moore and a seventh-round pick to the Sharks for a 2012 second-round pick.
"We're not going to give people away," Yzerman reiterated. "But if deals make sense and what we're bringing in makes us a better organization, we'll do that. We're not going to unload guys for the sake of unloading them."
Yzerman's busy day backed up what he indicated Wednesday: With the team facing formidable odds to make the playoffs, he likely would be a seller as the Feb. 27 trade deadline approached.
With the Sharks facing the Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum — Tampa Bay won 6-5 in overtime — Yzerman said the Moore deal came together quickly and a second-round pick was too good to pass up.
Tampa Bay now has three second-round picks in the June draft. The one acquired Thursday first belonged to the Wild, which is 22nd in the 30-team league. That should set up Tampa Bay in fairly good drafting position.
As for having three second-round picks, "That gives us a lot of options," Yzerman said.
Those include using the picks, trading picks to move up in the draft or, perhaps, for prospects who, as Yzerman said, "are closer to playing in the NHL."
Picks and prospects are the trade deadline priority for Yzerman so he can keep rebuilding the team's organizational depth.
Consider what Kubina, 34, will command if Moore returned a second-rounder.
Seasoned defensemen are like gold, and Kubina, 6 feet 4, 258 pounds and a member of the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup team, has played well with three goals and 11 points in 52 games. He also is plus-1 with an average ice time of 19:54.
It is believed the Rangers have interest, but the Red Wings and Bruins also need blue line help. Depending on Kubina's list, a function of the limited no-trade clause in his contract, there could be a bidding war.
Yzerman did not say if a trade is imminent but said, "until the situation is resolved (and) to protect out interests," Kubina will be kept off the ice. He did not play Thursday. Neither did Moore, 31, the versatile third-line center.
"Those guys are going to be missed," right wing Marty St. Louis said. "They're great players, but they're great people."
Neither was around to comment. Both, though, fit the trade deadline model of potential unrestricted free agents. Tampa Bay has more in defensemen Brett Clark, Bruno Gervais and Matt Gilroy, forwards Adam Hall and Ryan Shannon and goaltender Dwayne Roloson.
Right wing Steve Downie also has been in the rumor mill.
"We'll be making our decisions on a player-by-player basis or an opportunity-by-opportunity basis," Yzerman said. "The broader strategy is we want to be a better team. If we want to be a Cup contender, we have to do some things to become that."