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Tampa Bay may need to deal for a goaltender…again

Nov 23, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

Dwayne Roloson Getty Images

Last year, Bolts GM Steve Yzerman fixed his goaltending problem by acquiring Dwayne Roloson.

This year, his goaltending problem might be Dwayne Roloson.

The 42-year-old netminder was yanked yet again in last night’s 7-1 loss to Toronto. Roloson allowed six goals on 21 shots before being pulled in the third period and has now allowed 10 goals in his past two starts (and four or more in a game eight times this year) — raising major concerns that after years of dodging, Roloson has finally been caught by Father Time.

So, time to make a trade?

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune suggested as much today on Twitter. “Amidst all the goaltending talk circulating, and for good reason, if (a big IF) Yzerman makes a move for a goalie it’d be for a [Jonathan] Bernier-type.”

By Bernier-type, Erlendsson was talking about a high-quality youngster currently behind an entrenched No. 1 — Cory Schneider in Vancouver, Tuukka Rask in Boston or Josh Harding in Minnesota, for example.

Do note that head coach Guy Boucher has refused to throw Rolo under the bus. He put last night’s debacle on defensive mistakes and refrained from criticizing the goaltending. If Boucher’s displeased with the Roloson/Mathieu Garon duo and is seeking change, he’s been remarkably tight-lipped.

But trading for a goalie wouldn’t be just about the present — there’s the future to consider as well. Roloson’s 42, Garon is 33 and neither is signed past 2013. The Lightning do have goalie prospects in the system (Dustin Tokarski, Jaroslav Janus) but none considered blue-chip. Yzerman also has potential pieces to move (Carter Ashton, Dana Tyrell) and an extra second-round pick at the 2012 Entry Draft from the Andrej-Meszaros-to-Philly trade.

And hey, there is the current season to consider. Tampa is on pace to allow 275 goals this year, way up from last year’s total of 234. You can pin some of that on lackluster defense, but a lot of it has to do with shoddy goaltending.

  1. bcisleman - Nov 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Note to Stevie Y: Nabby should be all healed up by the time the holiday transaction freeze is over. Maybe we can make this an annual holiday tradition. I love those things. Happy Holidays!

    • sknut - Nov 23, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      That would be a great fit, the Islanders aren’t going anywhere grab a pick or a player and continue adding assets while getting rid of a guy who won’t be there when you get good again.

  2. muttbolts - Nov 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    Isles won’t take back roli.but may be garon.i would rather keep him though

  3. lsxphotog - Nov 24, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    I felt that committing to Roli was a bad idea. When he’s on, he is a spectacular goaltender. When he’s off, he is one of the worst, letting by some terrible goals. I think he should prove to be a great backstop behind a younger, more consistent goaltender – not Garon – but someone on the cusp of stardom. They gave away Smith, who has been surprisingly phenomenal for Phoenix, and ignored Dejardins monumental debut into the league last season. Instead of exploring their assets, they went fishing and found Roli. He finished with a great season and playoff run but it was speckled with some awful games. For Stevie Y to believe his team could play another 82 games and an arduous playoff battle with the oldest player/goaltender in the league was unwise. I hope that a consistent netminder finds its way between the pipes in Tampa. They haven’t had a franchise goalie since the days of Puppa. It has since been a revolving door. Not all games are won with offensive clout, time to make a deal.

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