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Offseason Report: Tampa Bay Lightning

Aug 4, 2012, 10:01 AM EDT

Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Kelly Sutherland AP

From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

38-36-8, 84 points. 10th in Eastern Conference, third in Southeast Division.

Additions

Matt Carle, Anders Lindback (trade), Sami Salo, Matt Taormina, Benoit Pouliot, B.J. Crombeen (trade), Kyle Wilson (trade), Dmitry Korobov

Departures

Dwayne Roloson, Brett Clark, Bruno Gervais, Tim Wallace, Mike Commodore, Sebastien Caron (trade)

2012 Draft

10th overall – Slater Koekkoek (D – Peterborough – OHL)

19th overall – Andrei Vasilevskiy (G – Ufa 2 – Russia)

Looking back

The 2011-2012 season was an admitted let down for the Lightning after coming within one win of the Stanley Cup finals the year before.  While Steve Stamkos was his usual dominant self scoring 60 goals and finishing with 97 points, the area where Tampa got killed was in goal.

Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon had fits where they couldn’t stop a beach ball and the team finished dead last in goals against (281). Even in a Southeast Division that was rather craptacular, that’s not going to get you anywhere. That made it tough to watch as goaltending is what helped the Lightning get as far as they did the year before.

Looking forward

Things are shaping up to be interesting this season, however. Adding Anders Lindback as their new No. 1 goalie puts the focus on goaltending right away. Lindback played for two seasons in Nashville while not getting much work behind Pekka Rinne. Can he prove to be a legitimate No. 1 guy?

Bringing back Matt Carle to help shore up the defense was a sneaky strike from GM Steve Yzerman as the defensive unit needed help. Sami Salo should help the power play out quite a bit as well.

Taking a flier on Benoit Pouliot to add to their top six will give them more speed and occasional goals while adding B.J. Crombeen to solidify the bottom six forwards will give them a bit more grit. With the improvements Washington and Carolina made this offseason, the Lightning hope to hang in that race for the top.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Lightning’s 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

  1. tbbolts91 - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    I think the additions are pretty solid. We have a very talented core but it was a disaster once you looked at the players outside the core last season. We’ll see how Lindback does…

  2. mclovinhockey - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Agreed, the bolts got a lot better. Carle is a solid puck moving D who just needs to be paired with a defensive D. They really just got better all around without losing much, honestly I think Clark was one of the biggest losses to this team, they could be the most improved team that was not talked about this offseason. (that’s hard to describe, but I hope I got my point across, they had an underrate offseason pretty much)

    • tbbolts91 - Aug 4, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      brett clark was okay. overall i don’t think the bolts lost anyone extremely valuable

      • mathieug79 - Aug 4, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        he was average at best.

      • mclovinhockey - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        agreed, that was just part of my point, they didnt lose much…

  3. staaltostaal - Aug 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    I think they finish 7th. Carolina wins the division.

    • tbbolts91 - Aug 4, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      no

  4. charleslouis99 - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    best move by the bolts-getting rid of roli

  5. polegojim - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Finally!!! A team this week that did it’s JOB in the offseason.

    Hat’s off to TB front office – Congrats.

  6. nickellbag - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    The pieces seem to be in place to make a run, so all the pressure is on Boucher. Lets see if he can adjust as league adjusted to him last year. Not sold on cat scratch fever yet!

  7. lsxphotog - Aug 4, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Indeed. Tampa is one of the few teams that stuck to its game plan and committed to a goal of solidifying its defense and goaltending – picking up some additions up front at the same time. The best pickup was Andres Lindback…we got him for nothing. If he doesn’t work out then Steve can find someone to take his place…very simple. It was a no-brainer! Let us not forget that Garon, once back into his role as a backup, will be very solid to split games with. And, with the improved defense, both netminders could have an easier job. There were a lot of games lost last year due to poor puck control in the defensive zone. Sale and Carle can certainly move the puck out correctly.

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