Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman got rolling well in advance of the NHL trade line, off-loading salary and collecting draft picks to facilitate his overhaul.
A quick summary:
The Lightning sent rugged winger Steve Downie to Colorado for defenseman Kyle Quincey, then sent Quincey to Detroit for a first-round draft pick minor-league defenceman Sebastien Piche. Earlier deals sent Pavel Kubina to Philly and Dominic Moore to San Jose.
So Yzerman has two first-round choices and three second rounders in 2012. He will also get Florida’s 2012 or 2013 second round pick as part of the Kubina trade; Stevie Y. gets to pick the year.
Here is how the Twitterverse reacted:
Pierre LeBrun: “Lots of picks for Tampa to try for a goalie come the off-season, keep that in mind . . .”
Andy Strickland: “Kyle Quincey is an underrated D-man... proved to be a good partner for Erik Johnson who has been playing his best hockey the last 25 games.”
Craig Custance: “By trading for RFA defenseman rather than rental, Red Wings in better shape if Brad Stuart leaves on July 1 to head back west.”
Bob McKenzie: “DET likes/knows Quincey, former Wing. Good insurance if Brad Stuart goes to UFA or Lidstrom retires, tho many in DET think Nick comes back.”
James Mirtle: “Guess I shouldn't have bought that Lightning jersey with Quincey on the back . . .”
Kevin Paul Dupont: “At rate Yzerman is making deals, must make Shanny-like video to explain details, reveal plot lines, hint at next move(s). Appt TV.”
James Mirtle: “Holland on Quincey: ‘We know him very well as we drafted him in 2003, helped him mature into an NHL player and watched his career develop.’”
First the Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Nicklas Grossman from Dallas. Then the club added defenseman Pavel Kubina from Tampa Bay.
Now is Philly going to do something really big, like land Columbus power forward Rick Nash? Or will the Flyers focus on getting better in goal, given Ilya Bryzgalov’s startling failure?
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren met with Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson and they likely discussed more than the weather. Expect Holmgren to be one of the key players as the NHL trade deadline nears.
The two trades bolstered the Philadelphia defense at a cost of a second-round pick in 2012, a second-round pick in 2012 or 2013, a third-round pick in 2013, a fourth-round pick in 2013 and minor league center Jon Kalinski.
Grossman and Kubina both arrive with expiring contracts; they will be become unrestricted free agents after the season.
The moves strengthen the injury-depleted Flyers for the stretch run. Grossman should add sturdy defense and Kubina will add some offensive skill – although his days of scoring 40 per season appear gone.
Might these deals become a precursor to something bigger, like a Nash deal or a goaltender upgrade? The Flyers firmed up their near-term roster without subtracting a key player or spending a first-round draft pick.
Help up front may not be necessary, now that Philly is healthier. The Flyers should become stronger offensively by returning Daniel Briere (concussion), Jaromir Jagr (groin strain) and James van Riemsdyk (concussion) to active duty.
Briere hasn't been productive since his return from the injured list, but a reunion with a healthy Jagr could change all that.
NHL teams are making their bid for Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Pavel Kubina, who officially stepped onto the trade block this week.
The Lightning asked the offensive defenseman to waive his some of his no-trade protection by listing a list of teams he would move to. The team also told him he would not play (and thus risk injury) while the team attempted to trade him.
Kubina is steaming toward unrestricted free agency. He makes $3.5 million this season and carries a $3.85 million cap hit.
He has three goals and eight assists in 52 games this season. But he scored 118 points for Toronto and Atlanta from 2007-10, so some teams may still be believe in his offensive ability.
His availability comes as the Wild are trying to move offensive defenseman Marek Zidlicky, perhaps to the Devils.
"We're making our decisions on a player-by-player and opportunity-by-opportunity basis,” Yzerman told the Tampa Tribune. “We see potential opportunity to improve our club with regards to Pavel.
"The broader strategy is we want to be a better team in the future. We want to be a Cup contender at some point, and we're going to have to do some things to become that."
Yzerman has lamented the organization’s lack of depth at the minor league level. With his team fading from the playoff picture, he can start stockpiling more picks and prospects.
He opted to go into selective “sell” mode rather than trade existing commodities for, say, goaltending help.
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