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Steve Yzerman should be trying to trade for a goalie

Dec 7, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

Steve Yzerman Getty Images

Another night and another rotten performance out of a Lightning goalie. Dwayne Roloson has been poor all season and last night it was Mathieu Garon getting torched by the Islanders 5-1. Garon getting as many starts as he is is thanks to Roloson looking every bit of 42 years-old.

The Lightning are currently fourth in the Southeast Division and 10 points behind the Panthers for first. They’re not a playoff team and without solid goaltending and stronger defense in general, they’re going to go from being a game away from the Stanley Cup finals to the draft lottery.

Paging Steve Yzerman, it’s time to make a season-saving trade yet again.

Last season, Yzerman worked his magic on the day of the Winter Classic to land Dwayne Roloson as a last ditch effort to fix the team’s goaltending problems last season. The move paid off as Roloson carried the Lightning to the playoffs and into the Eastern Conference finals.

The problem facing Yzerman this time around is finding a team eager to part ways with a capable goalie. Putting in a call to Vancouver for Cory Schneider (or hey, why not Roberto Luongo?) would likely come at too high of a price. The same could be said if they wanted to take a shot at Kings backup Jonathan Bernier. The Panthers have Scott Clemmensen but he might come at a stiffer price to a rival.

Yzerman’s got to do something because at this rate, the Lightning aren’t going anywhere with the situation as it sits.

  1. mdhedley - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Ray Emery might be as rational a choice as Roloson seemed like last year. Cheaper than anything coming out of Vancouver, and has starting playoff experience. They’d need to send Chicago a backup, and probably something else. Also they’d need to wait until Crawford gets out of his current funk, but that shouldn’t take too long.

  2. lsxphotog - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    It’s not just goaltending. The Tampa defense enjoys coasting around when times are tough, allowing the opposition to get the jump on them and beat them to the pucks. They’re getting inside on them nearly every play, and then the goaltending hasn’t been up to snuff. Roloson just can’t stop a simple shot, quite sad, really. When it comes down to it, Tampa is just playing sloppy and they’re certainly not helping their goaltenders out in their own zone. As soon as they get the lead, they put things on cruise control almost as if to say “ok, now lets see what YOU can do.” This usually leads to a string of goals and the Lightning have great trouble coming back from it.

    Two things Yzerman needs to do: Look into getting another defenseman that can change the structure and discipline of the blue line. Not a goal scorer, but a leader. It’s hard to believe Ohlund held them together back there, but it’s possible. There’s a lot of chatter on the bench and listening to a mentor correct you or make suggestions on plays can help out a lot.

    The second thing is to get Roli out of there. He’s proven time after time he has lost it. He’s played a couple good games, but the majority have been terrible. They have Dustin Tokarski in their system who has been playing very well, so maybe look for a guy who can be a solid started backed by Tokarski? Who knows what they’ll do. I wait patiently for Yzerman to say “check mate.”

  3. cmutimmah - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    What about Jaraslav Halak?

    Seems Elliot is running away with that job in Stl… Halak’s price tag is too high as a backup…

    Blues seem like a good partner…

    • danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      That’s… actually not half-bad. And Halak played for Boucher in Montreal, didn’t he? Huh. Interesting thought.

  4. rca26 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    The Lightning have a glut of offense, be it on the older end or coming up through Norfolk. They have a few top prospects to dangle for goaltending if they so decide, although with the way things are going right now, I wonder if we’re going to start hearing Vinny and Marty rumors again. That would be panicky at this stage, but you can only go on so many 5-game losing streaks before people start talking.

    The Bolts have a little too much money tied up in a few veterans to truly be a young up-and-coming team, but their prospects aren’t quite complete enough for them to be a win-now team at this stage. It’s a conundrum, but Tampa fans have known from the start that this season was going to need more of that Yzerman magic. We’ll see what happens.

  5. philly4lyfe - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    I’m sure the flyers would listen to offers for bobrovsky. He has solid regular season numbers last year and this year, he has playoff experience and wouldn’t cost much in terms of salary. Im not sure what the flyers asking price would be. The flyers are in need of defense right now which I’m sure TB would have a hard time parting with since they have several of their top blue liners out injured. But maybe they could work something out for prospects and/or draft picks.

  6. jpelle82 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:17 AM


    • imleftcoast - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      God yeah – bag of pucks and assumption of contract is not too high a price.

  7. davebrownspiral - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Isles have Nabakov. Dipietro? Please take him. Let the Isles eat the remaining 48 years of his contract, but just take him and get him off the team. Dipetro for a bag of practice pucks and a hockey stick signed by Stamkos.

    • bcisleman - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      Nabby will be a trade possibility once he returns from IR IF Garth is satisfied that Poulin is ready to be backup to Al. We are stuck with RDP. The only real choice is to either buy him out or send him to the AHL to rehab.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:28 PM

      You honestly believe RDP’s worth a SIGNED stick?

      • lsxphotog - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        He has accomplished absolutely nothing since signing his contract. An eggageration, yes, but his comment is pretty accurate. It has been about his worth for the Isles since he came one. He’s made of glass and gets hurt all the time. Once again, WHY YOU DON’T SIGN GOALIES TO LONG-TERM CONTRACTS! haha

      • danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:28 PM

        That’s… kind of my point. The joke was that actually signing the stick would be overpaying for Rick DiPiet- you know what, nevermind.

  8. treydogg97 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    This may be jumping the gun a little bit, but what about Josh Harding? Workable contract for the Bolts and a chance for Harding to be THE guy. The Wild early on had a glut of goaltenders in the organization but with Dennis Endras being sent to HIFK and the current injury situation that seems to be less than possible. But once Backs and Harding get their health back it could be a possibility.

  9. cshearing - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Harding and Bobrovsky are good matches. It would probably take more for Harding, but it would stills pale in comparison to the prices of guys like Schneider or LA’s Bernier.

  10. dcfan4life - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    The Capitals goal tending situation presents an opportunity for trade with 3 NHL calbiner Goalies available in Vokoun, Neivirth, and Holtby, if not for being in the same division as Tampa. The bolts are just going to have to give up something good to get what they want when it comes to goaltending, but i do like the Halak scenario for them. As a Caps fan i hope its out of there price range though.

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