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Lightning won’t qualify Lindback, yet he could still return

Jun 21, 2014, 10:59 PM EDT

Anders Lindback AP

The Tampa Bay Lightning will opt against handing Anders Lindback a qualifying offer … but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be back with the Bolts in 2014-15, the Tampa Bay Tribune reports.

Not qualifying the big backup might seem like a clear sign of a split, yet it’s a lot easier to understand when you consider the cost: it would have required an expensive $2.2 million offer.

That’s $200K more than Tomas Vokoun made in his deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins as more of a 1B to Marc-Andre Fleury than a true backup. Despite also being a former Nashville Predators netminder, Lindback is no Vokoun. At least not yet.

Lindback went 10-10-1 in 2012-13 with the Lightning, yet any hopes of him topping a mediocre performance (.902 save percentage) fizzled as he was even worse this past season. At the moment, he’s well under .500 in regular season games with the Lightning and experienced a pretty miserable series against the Montreal Canadiens.*

It’s not that far-fetched to imagine a return because, frankly, the Lightning might be one of the few teams open-minded enough to give the towering 26-year-old a halfway decent deal. They gave up a whopping package of two second-rounders and one third-rounder to nab Lindback from Nashville, so there could still be some organizational drive to get more out of that lopsided trade.

“We are going to look and see what is out there, but (Lindback) is on the list,’’ Yzerman said.

It’s tough to tell how many other teams will have Lindback on their lists … at least in the NHL.

* – To be fair, he wasn’t the only one.

  1. djshnooks - Jun 21, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Don’t count out Buffalo, if they trade Enroth and/or Neuvirth. This week Tim Murray said he likes big and athletic goalies, especially fins or swedes. Neither is Enroth or Neuvirth. I could see him bringing in Lindback to compete with Neuvirth, and trading Enroth to open the spot.

    He did draft Robin Lehner in Ottawa, and even acknowledged as much in the interview. Lindback is Murray’s ideal goalie.

    • westinpat - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      I hope not. If Murray wants a big goalie I hope he just let’s Enroth and Neuvirth battle this year while Knapp and Liuwen develop in the minors.

  2. bluesdroogie - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    I really wish the blues did not let Ben Bishop get away from us. That trade to Ottawa is 1 of the worst trades Doug Armstrong/the blues organization have made recently(not counting the stupid trade for Miller) I don’t blame Miller for the blues failure in the playoffs as we needed scoring. Bishop was supposed to be our next #1. He proved it last season in Tampa Bay.

    Lindback might be gone before T.B. knows what hit them. He is a big solid goalie and there are teams out there looking for a backup. N.J., Wild, Avalanche, Oilers(still do not have a true #1), etc.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Well hindsight is always 20/20 but at the time Halak/Elliot were quite the productive duo. AND Jake Allen was also in the system. I agree he’d be the right fit now but there wasn’t a place for him before (although Ottawa didn’t need him either). I know it’s a small sample size but Allen looks like he could be the answer (especially long-term) for a talented Blues squad.

  3. dumbassgreg - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    what yzerman is saying. there is a group of backup goalies Al Montoya , chad Johnson etc. they all make about 600 thousand. we plan on signing someone from that group. if lindback will sign for that we may keep him. if we can’t sign someone we like better.

  4. jacketsfan7 - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    C’mon guys, they have Vasilevsky, Gudlevskis, and Desjardins. They need to trade lindback for maybe a 5th or 6th round pick.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM

      I really don’t think a team would even give up that for Lindback… this summer there are already too many goalies compared to the jobs available; and pretty much all of them were more productive than Lindback. Plus, I think Tampa has made it clear they won’t pay more than the minimum for Lindback, so all it will take is an offer slightly above that.

      Lindback is somewhat of an enigma: solid athleticism, ideal frame, and still young (especially in goalie years)… so I’m sure someone will take a shot but I don’t think there’s any way a team trades anything for his rights. Afterall, Tim Murray said it the other day, teams like to use those late picks on little known, European netminders, whom they can develop and hope it’s another Lundqvist. Right now, after a few pretty terrible years, (in the mind of GMs) Lindback probably has less of a chance of becoming something special than a shot in the dark, 18-year old Swede or Finn.

      • lightning79 - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        Any team who might face Flyers a lot this season might want to take a flyer on Lindback, his stats vs Flyers this year 3 Wins….34 saves on 36 shots, 35 saves on 38 shots, 19 saves on 21 shots …

        Also Frantz Jean is one of the worst Goalie coaches in the NHL, so maybe a team with a great Goalie coach might take a chance on Lindback thinking they might be able to change his style.

        Only playing a handful of games in the AHL, then backup Pekka Rinne (only played a handful of games at the NHL level) might have had something to do with the way he has developped.

        At this point if no1 signs him, he might be better off going to the KHL.

  5. storminator16 - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    I can see him in Washington back with Trotz/Korn.

    • storminator16 - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      Never mind, forgot he won’t be a UFA. Still, that would be a better situation for him and for the Caps if he can bounce back.

      • lightning79 - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM

        actually he does become a UFA…

      • storminator16 - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        Ok, I thought is the way that went. Got kind of confused based on how the article was written.

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