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)

Yzerman: Trade for vet possible

WELCOME TO ANAHEIM: The Ducks’ Tim Jackman, far left, and the Lightning’s B.J. Crombeen trade blows in the first period late Friday. Jackman plays in his first game since acquired in a trade with Calgary on Thursday.

Getty Images

WELCOME TO ANAHEIM: The Ducks’ Tim Jackman, far left, and the Lightning’s B.J. Crombeen trade blows in the first period late Friday. Jackman plays in his first game since acquired in a trade with Calgary on Thursday.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Steve Yzerman would much rather use organizational depth to hold the fort until star C Steven Stamkos returns from a broken right leg.

But the Lightning general manager said Friday that depending on his evaluation of how the team plays, trading for a veteran "is something to consider, for sure."

Yzerman was clear he is not interested in trading younger players for older. He also indicated he wants more time to evaluate and no trade is imminent.

"We talk about this all through the summer and training camp: Some of these young players are going to get the opportunity to play," Yzerman said. "They've had two good years in the American League, and they're all doing pretty well."

Coach Jon Cooper said the Kid Line of rookies Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Richard Panik was Tampa Bay's best in Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Sharks.

Still, the Lightning has seven rookies on the roster and nine players who spent part or all of last season with AHL Syracuse. That is a lot of inexperience for an NHL roster that lost its catalyst when it lost Stamkos.

"I watched that game (Thursday), and you can mention any of those young guys. They were fine," Yzerman said. "Everybody is going to make mistakes. For a lot of them, it's the first time in these buildings. They have to go through it at some point. I'd rather they go through it now. I think they all have proven they are capable of playing in the NHL and are ready to play in the NHL. We have to let them play."

The bottom line on any trade?

"I'm not going to add a veteran just to add a veteran," Yzerman said. "It's got to make us better. … and (I have to consider) what I have to give up to get that player."

CONNOLLY DEMOTED: After 10 games with just one goal and zero assists, Brett Connolly, the No. 6 overall pick of the 2010 draft, was demoted to Syracuse.

"Right now, not much is happening for him," Yzerman said. "He's just struggling to find his game. He's not getting things accomplished. We just feel it's better for him to go back and continue his development."

"I wasn't getting as much accomplished as I know I can," Connolly, 21, said. "I have to be better. I understand their reasoning."

The lack of production since Connolly was called up Oct. 31 was surprising. He had 31 goals last season for Syracuse, and his four training-camp goals this season tied Stamkos for the team lead. But Connolly did not play well offensively or defensively with Tampa Bay and was minus-5.

Yzerman said the focus "short term" is for Connolly "to get his confidence and feel good about himself and to get back to doing the things he did well in preseason and all of last year."

STAMKOS UPDATE: Yzerman didn't offer much on Stamkos' rehabilitation but said, "He's doing good. He's up and moving around reasonably well, so he's doing fine."

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning played 11 forwards and seven defensemen against the Ducks. … LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie was scratched. … Nine Tampa Bay players were not born when Ducks star Teemu Selanne, 43, was drafted by the Jets in 1988.

Yzerman: Trade for vet possible 11/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 11:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs to add linebacker from Germany for 2017 practice squad


    The Bucs will be part of a new NFL program this fall that will grant an 11th practice squad slot to an overseas player, with German-born Eric Nzeocha, a linebacker who played at the University of Wyoming, slated to join Tampa Bay's roster for the 2017 season.

    Wyoming linebacker Eric Nzeocha, 24, will be an 11th member of the Bucs' practice squad in 2017 as part of a program to bring more international players to the NFL. He was born in Germany but played in college at Wyoming.
  2. Major-league bullpens get stretched as starters take a seat

    The Heater

    Mike Marshall led the majors in appearances in 1973, with 92 for the Montreal Expos. The next spring, having joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, Marshall met his new manager, Walter Alston.

  3. Bucs get first new video director in 29 years


    When the Bucs took to the practice field this week to start OTA practices, they did so with a new video director for the first time in 29 years.

    Bucs video director Dave Levy, shown during the 2003 season, worked under nine different head coaches in 29 seasons working for Tampa Bay.
  4. UPDTAED: Rays activate Tommy Hunter, place Jumbo Diaz on DL


    UPDATED, 9:40: The Rays did activate Hunter this morning, and placed Diaz on the DL with "right arm fatigue, retroactive to Tuesday.