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Trade not yet a viable option to bolster Tampa Bay Lightning defense

That the Lightning might be without defenseman Mattias Ohlund (knees) for up to two months, and that the defensive corps generally has struggled, has led to speculation that general manager Steve Yzerman is looking to strengthen his blue line with a trade.

Yzerman said, "It certainly is cause for consideration."

And if the Lightning remains a playoff contender, you can bet it is a piece he tries to add before the deadline.

But Yzerman making an immediate move? Well, that's a different, more complicated story, one that Yzerman said normally doesn't include knee-jerk reactions after eight games.

"You don't just go out there and say, 'I'm going to make a trade.' That's not how I approach it," Yzerman said.

"If you're talking to people and there's an opportunity that makes sense — for me, regardless of how things are going, if there's an opportunity to make your team better, you do it. So, even if Ohlund is back in a month or six weeks, if something makes sense and it makes the team better, I'm going to do that.

"But to say I'm going to go out and definitely try to accomplish this, it's harder to do that, and you're not going to get a favorable deal."

Because it is early in the season, contracts are still mostly unpaid, so getting something likely would mean giving something so as not to blow budgets, and the Lightning's depth is such that giving up anything of value would hurt.

And after two weeks of the season, most teams aren't ready to bail, though the lowly Blue Jackets might believe otherwise.

Bottom line: Yzerman has to consider a basic equation when it comes to his blue line.

"We're expecting Mattias back at some point," he said, "so we go back and forth between trying to do something as far as making a change or standing pat with what you have and getting better and hope your team plays better."

It's a decision not yet made.

Trade not yet a viable option to bolster Tampa Bay Lightning defense 10/22/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2011 8:42pm]
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