Monday, 27 February 2017

Lightning Trade Brian Boyle to Maple Leafs

If sending Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings in a deal yesterday didn't signal to the league that the Tampa Bay Lightning are sellers, today's trade that sent Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a 2017 second-round pick and forward Byron Froese certainly should:
A pending-UFA, Boyle finishes his Lightning career having scored 41 goals and 66 points in 212 games.  Signed during the summer of 2014, Boyle was instrumental in solidifying Tampa's fourth line on its way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015 and Eastern Conference Final in 2016.  He had a job to do, and on most nights he did it really well.  Fans and coaches alike knew exactly what they were going to get from #11 whenever he took to the ice.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

BREAKING: Lightning Trade Goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings

The Tampa Bay Lightning are officially trade deadline sellers.  TSN's Bob McKenzie is reporting that GM Steve Yzerman has traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings:
With the Lightning mired in a down year and facing the reality of a tremendous cap crunch in the offseason, Bishop, a pending UFA, had to be moved.  The fact of the matter is that Andrei Vasilevskiy is more than capable of manning the Tampa crease, and at a fraction of the cost.  Of course, just because trading Bishop has looked like the smart thing to do for a while doesn't mean that it was ever a guarantee.  The market for goaltenders is notoriously weak, and there were other options available (read: Ryan Miller).  The fact that Yzerman was able to turn a great asset like Bishop into something, even if the return isn't of a jump-for-joy sort of quality, makes this a great day for the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Opinion: Cashing in on Boyle's Career-High Shooting Percentage is Smart Business

It's been a rough year for the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Stuck near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the team everyone saw as a Stanley Cup contender just a few months ago is now faced with the very real prospect of being a seller at this year's trade deadline.  While things feel slightly rosier right now, thanks to a four-game point streak (3W, 1SOL), the reality of the situation is still rather bleak: Per, as of writing time the Lightning only have an 11.5% chance of making the postseason.

Because of that unfortunate probability, the rumor mill has been rampant with speculation that GM Steve Yzerman might be willing to pull the trigger on deals as the deadline approaches.  Valtteri Filppula's name has been out there for a while, Ben Bishop is almost certainly available, and there's even been some talk about one of the triplets being a potential target for teams in advance of March 1st.  Another guy who might (read: should) be on the market?  Brian Boyle.  Things on that front kicked up a notch today:
While some fans have been reluctant to consider the possibility of trading Boyle, that report from CBC's Elliotte Friedman should change the equation.  If Steve Yzerman can turn a 32-year-old, fourth-line center on an expiring contract into a first-round pick, he'd be foolish not to.  Even if this year's entry draft isn't as strong or deep as one might like, a first-round pick is still a tremendously valuable commodity.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Memo to Drouin: "There is More Than One Net in a Rink"

We all know that Jonathan Drouin is not good defensively.  Twitter says so.

Unfortunately, things are getting worse by the day.  The offense is disappearing.  The defense is non-existent.  Drouin is suffering through the worst season of his young career.

That's it.  I said it.