So after I finished working hard on this gimmick I watched the Lightning defeat the Thrashers 2-1 behind some strong goaltending from Antero Nittymaki. If the season was to end today the Bolts would have locked up the 8th spot in the playoffs (at least according to ESPN's standings page).
After the game The Hockey News (the guys who broke the ownership sale) reported that the potential new owner, Jeff Vinik, is leaning towards keeping Vincent Lecavalier because he doesn't want to alienate the fanbase.
So that makes this pretty much an exercise in futility, yet I will continue on. Why? Well because this entire blog is a fruitless, or at least profitless, venture. Also, I wrote the damn thing already so I'm going to post it.
Here we go..
Brandon Bochenski – Sent down to Norfolk. I just don’t think he’s got what it takes to stay in the NHL. He’s a free agent after the season, and the Admirals will need players after the call ups to fill roster spots!
Steve Downie – To Toronto with Steven Stamkos. For Nazem Kadri, Jeff Finger and a 2nd round pick. This is a big trade for both teams. Toronto continues it’s rebuilding project with native son Stamkos and add toughness and scoring in Downie. They also clear cap room by unloading Finger’s contract. Kadri gives hope to the Lightning without the pressure of having to perform in his hometown.
Todd Fedoruk – Released. I honestly couldn't’t figure out a trade partner for him. The Bolts would have to eat the rest of his contract, but it would be worth it to clear space on the roster for the young ones.
Jeff Halpern – To Washington. For a 4th round draft pick. The Caps pick up some depth for their playoff run and Halpern returns to his first team with hopes of winning a cup.
Zenon Konopka – To San Jose with a 3rd round pick. For Jamie McGinn. The Sharks pick up some toughness and a solid face off man in return for an up-and-coming forward.
Vincent Lecavalier – To Los Angeles with a 2011 2nd round pick. For Jack Johnson, Wayne Simmonds and Colten Teubert. Los Angeles makes the most sense for Lecavalier based on cap room and available prospects. If the Kings do give up a prospect I don’t think they’re giving up draft picks as well. Taking a $10 million salary ($7.7 cap hit) is tough on a team and they are not going to mortgage the franchise to do it.
Ryan Malone – To Montreal. For Ryan O’Byrne. Montreal picks up a large body for the front of the net and the Lightning get another young defensemen.
Martin St Louis - To Pittsburgh with Nate Thompson and Matt Walker. For Jordan Staal, Chris Kunitz, and Ben Lovejoy. This is the big blockbuster that trades away the heart of the Lightning. St Louis gives the Penguins that extra forward to partner with Crosby or Malkin. Jordan Staal comes to the Lightning as the most recognizable name of the new franchise.
Steven Stamkos – To Toronto with Steve Downie. For Nazem Kadri, Jeff Finger and a 2nd round pick. Stamkos has become a legitimate scorer in the NHL and Toronto would love to have him as their new center piece. Giving up Kadri would be tough, but you have to give up something to get something.
Alex Tanguay – To Calgary. For a 3rd round pick. Calgary has already reshaped their roster and adding another scorer could help them out. The Bolts stockpile another pick.
Nate Thompson - To Pittsburgh with St Louis and Walker. For Staal, Kunitz and Ben Lovejoy. Thompson becomes the defensive center/penalty killer in Pittsburgh while Walker adds good ol’ playoff grit to the blueline. Kunitz comes over to clear cap room and give the Bolts a hope of scoring a goal while Lovejoy is another young, expendable defenseman.
Stephane Veilleux – Placed on waivers. Some team can pick him up as far as the Lightning are concerned since he is an unrestricted free agent next year.
So there ya go. An entirely new roster filled with young prospects, third line talent and minimal talent. So in the words of the Real Dog Faced Gremlin - "pretty much a wash".