Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster Responds To Another Round of Your Lightning Hockey Questions
Question 1: Vincent Lecavalier is my favorite hockey player as well as my hero! In the Lightning Stanley Cup video you said that you will keep him as long as you are the general manager for the Lightning. is this true?
Jay Feaster: When I took over as GM of the Lightning I told pretty much everyone who would listen, from Mr. Davidson, our owner, to Ron Campbell, our team President, to Vinny to John Tortorella to our fans and media that my legacy was NOT going to be that I would forever be known as the GM who traded Vincent Lecavalier. I would like to think that my position at the time was nicely rewarded when Vinny helped lead us to the Stanley Cup in 2004. As you may know, Vinny is under contract through the 2008-09 season, and it will certainly be our intent to do everything possible to re-sign him and keep him in Tampa. When I became GM of the Lightning one of my personal goals was to be able to what I could to see to it that Vinny would wear a Lightning sweater for his entire career, and my thinking in that regard has not changed.
Question 2: First off Jay, congratulations on bringing Mike Sullivan in as assistant coach, I believe letting Ramsey go will prove to be the right choice for everyone. I do have a couple of questions for you though. First off, you've talked about bringing in another veteran D, what is the likelyhood we would see somebody like Bryan Berard from Columbus or Patrice Brisebois from Colorado in a Lightning jersey. Brisebois has that risk taking attitude, which seems like something that the Lightning would look for. On the other hand, Berard who played a short time in Columbus, was one of the defensemen who stood in front of Denis, that may bring the confidence level of Denis up if he knew Berard was in front of him. Or, are you happy enough with bringing Brad Lukowhich back and signing Lundin? Second, what are the chances of maybe taking a last minute splash into free agency and trying to nab another goal scorer. Peter Bondra is untouched in free agency. While Bondra wasn't impressive in Chicago, he never really had anybody who could solidly move the puck and we all know how dangerous he could be. Seeing him in a Lightning jersey, and knowing who he would have around him, I think he would be great, playing on a line with Richards and either Oullet, or Hlavac. I believe that would solidfy the team even more offensively. Last, but not least, Tampa seems to like the dump and chase method as far as attacking into the offensive zone, my question is this; Why not play a defensive trap, and use the one forechecker, and four back when the opposition is attacking. With the aggressiveness we've added to our team, a trap would seem like it could make a few more turnovers than we normally see. I've noticed the Lightning seem to let teams walk into there zone, where teams like New Jersey try to stand them up at the line. Make the other teams try to play a dump and chase, I don't believe they will be as effective playing that form of hockey with the Lightning switching to a trap. With more turnovers, the more odd man rushes the Lightning should have, with the speed we do have on this team I believe a dump and chase, trap combination would work. Just some ideas. One more thing, instead of constantly passing on the power play, tell them to shoot as much as possible, the more you shoot, the better chance you have to score.
Thank you Jay, for your time.
JF: We do like the look of our blueline at this time and we really would like to give some of our depth defensemen and prospects a serious look at training camp. The two defensemen you mentioned are certainly more "offensive" in terms of their style and their thinking. It is important to keep in mind that not every player is going to be a "fit" on our team. We do a great deal of "homework" on players before we pursue them either through trades or free agency, (or draft them, for that matter). With the addition of Brad Lukowich we are 5 NHLers deep and we honestly believe that a host of our depth guys are knocking on the door. Doug Janik was a regular last year until Shane O'Brien was acquired. Doug wants to regain a starting spot. Bryce Lampman is a player our scouts are confident can and will play in the NHL. Dan Jancevski and Jay Leach are also going to be given a long look, and then we have our own youngsters such as Matt Smaby, Vladimir Mihalik and Andy Rogers. For right now, we are going to stand pat and see what transpires at Camp.
In terms of adding another Forward, we are really "full" right now both in terms of NHL players and also as far as our depth. We also have to be mindful of our payroll budget and I can tell you that we are already pushing the very upper end of our limit.
Finally, in terms of the trap, I can tell you that we will never be a trapping hockey team as long as John Tortorella is our coach. As Torts has said, it is an incredibly boring system to play against and it's even more boring to play and less fun to coach. One of the reasons we never have a problem attracting quality free agents to Tampa is b/c guys WANT to play in our attacking system. I can tell you that Shane O'Brien felt liberated when he arrived in Tampa and was told to "GO!" Guys love to skate, to pass, to demonstrate their skills, and let's face it, we've had some pretty decent success playing "our" style and our system the past four years.
Question 3: Jay- is Raycroft still up for grabs? I here the Leafs are looking for a forward. honestly we could really use him.
JF: Andrew Raycroft continues to be a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. As you know, NHL rules do not permit GMs and Coaches to "comment" on players on other teams as it constitutes tampering. However, I will say that I like Johan Holmqvist a lot and I believe he will take yet another step in his development this coming season, and I also believe Marc Denis will have a bounce-back year.
Question 4: Seriously what do you see of the team, where do you see them going this year, how far do you think they'll go?
JF: Seriously, I see us winning the Southeast Division Championship and, as such, being no worse than the 3rd seed in the East. I see us winning a couple of rounds at a minimum and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. Then I see us winning the Stanley Cup! If I honestly didn't believe that I should be in another line of work, particularly with the talent we have on our hockey team. We missed the SE Division title by 3 points last year. If we prevail there we don't face Marty Brodeur in the 1st round. If you throw out Game 1 of that series, our "rookie" goalie, playing in his first NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series EVER gave us every opportunity to win that series. I believe deeply in this hockey team, and I honestly expect GREAT things from our guys!
Question 5: I liked your responses in this interview and your overall enthusiasm looking forward to the 07-08 season. I have two questions for you:
1) Was it management's intention to re-sign Eric Perrin this summer, or were you prepared to let him go? Were there any negotiations prior to him signing with Atlanta?
2) With an eye towards possibly suring up things in the net, have you or will you give any thought to possibly looking into signing Tim Thomas away from the Bruins? With his athleticism and raw desire, combined with the excellent season he had with Boston last year, I would think that he might be a guy that would come across your radar.
Thanks in advance for your time!! Keep up the great work in Tampa!
JF: We attempted to re-sign Eric Perrin. We offered Eric a two-year deal at the same money we paid to Jason Ward and a three-year deal at the same money we paid Nick Tarnasky. The Ward deal, in particular, had an AAV of $650,000. In the end, Eric signed for two-years in Atlanta at an AAV of $750,000. We were prepared to let him go in that we were NOT prepared to pay him "any" price to stay, and he felt Atlanta offered him a better opportunity. Hard to understand how that is the case inasmuch as we were the first and only NHL organization to give him his "big league" chance, we battled to get his name on the Stanley Cup when he didn't qualify under the rules, we re-signed him after he left us to go to Europe when the new CBA didn't meet his needs, and we gave him every opportunity to play at a high level this past season. Frustrating...on many levels.
Again, Tim Thomas is under contract to another organization and as such commenting on him is not appropriate. I would refer you, however, to my earlier comments regarding my confidence in our own goaltending.
Question 6: Who do you want to re-sign the most and have you even slightly thought about trading Marty, Vinny, or Brad?
JF: Right now I want to re-sign Dan Boyle "the most." Then, next summer it will be Vinny. I don't have to worry about Marty and Brad until the summer of 2011. In terms of trading any of them, as I have said before, I get phone calls from other GMs on a pretty regular basis inquiring about them. As the bromide goes in the NHL, "If Wayne Gretzky can be traded, anyone can be traded." So, I suppose if someone were willing to offer us a package of superstars that would enable us to win the Stanley Cup running away we would have to at least "slightly think about it." However, I have no interest in moving any of those players as they are the core of our hockey team and the main reasons for our sustained success the past four years.
Question 7: What are some of the philosophical differences between Mike Sullivan and Craig Ramsay? Thanks Jay!
JF: I don't know that it's "philosophical differences" between Rammer and Sully so much as it is a difference in approach and methodology and personality. Rammer is very quiet and laid back. He is a low-key type of coach. He doesn't believe in yelling at players in the heat of battle, or getting in a player's face. Obviously, Torts does believe in those things. Sully played for Torts and knows his style. He has also been a Head Coach at the AHL and NHL level and he knows what works with today's athletes. I expect him to be aggressive with players and he, too, will make sure guys know just where they stand. As for our "style," we will continue to be an attacking team and we will want our D'men to be part of the attack.
Question 8: Will Tim Taylor be playing this season? If not who will be the captain?
JF: Tim Taylor will have surgery on his hip sometime in August or September and that surgery will most likely keep him out of action until March at the very earliest. In reality, no professional hockey player has ever come back to play again after undergoing hip replacement surgery, which is what Tim will face. Having said that, he will have his surgery and will rehab with us and will be a part of our hockey club. He is and will be our Captain. On the ice this year three players will wear an "A"---Vinny Lecavalier, Brad Richards and, new to the letter-wearing group but certainly not new to team leadership will be Marty St. Louis. I feel VERY GOOD about the leadership on our hockey club.
Question 9: Is there any chance that the lightning will sign a more stable goaltender, don't get me wrong we have young talent, but as you saw in the playoffs last year, Holmqvist was the starter for the playoffs and Ramo was back up. It's kinda odd when your number one goalie goes down to play for the AHL.
JF: Marc Denis did not go play in the minors. He simply did not dress in the playoffs. I have said this many times, our goaltending is good enough for us to win and, save for the very first game of the post-season last year, in which Holmqvist was making his "rookie" playoff debut, he gave us every opportunity to win that series. I expect him to be even better this year. Let's not forget that he won 27 regular season games last year and 2 playoff games. I also expect Marc Denis to have a bounce-back year and return to form as a legitimate NHL #1. He, too, won 17 games last season and I really do expect both guys to be even better in 2007-08. Add to that mix Kari Ramo and we feel very good about our goaltending. That's a long-winded way of saying that those three will go to Camp and battle for two spots on the roster. So, no, we will not be signing another goalie.
Question 10: How do you feel about Norm Milley's chances at making the team this season?
What Do you think he needs to improve in his game to take the next step?
JF: Norm Milley is a high character player and has done some really good things for us in the past. Norm needs to work on his skating and his conditioning in order to become an NHL regular. During the 2005-06 season when he got his first chance with us we believe he allowed his conditioning to slip during the Olympic Break. It ultimately cost him his playing time and his spot. This past season we felt his skating was just a bit behind some other players and that is why he played in the AHL. He is knocking on the door and will be given every opportunity to make the Club in Camp, but it will be a battle and he needs to be prepared from the very first scrimmage.
Question 11: First off, I want to applaud you for the work you have done to make the Lightning a perennial Cup-contender every year. You have made the Tampa Bay area fans very proud. As far as my question(s), they're pretty simple. Excluding the moves in free agency you have made so far, is there a defenseman available on the market that is NHL ready right now? After reading up on CBS' sportsline.com, there are some pretty big name guys left. I know you don't want to sacrifice payroll and such, but couldn't potentially an Andy Sutton, Brett Sopel or even Danny Markov be the big body to help replace Freddy Modin?? Each players salary for 06-07 was minimal. Maybe worth taking a look at and/or even signing to a one year deal? Thanks.
JF: Thank you for your very kind words. It really is nice to hear someone tell you they think you are doing a good job and are making Lightning fans proud. That really is very much appreciated. In terms of signing a "big-name" defenseman, there are a number of factors at play. First, we really are pretty much "maxed out" on our payroll budget once we get the arbitration award in the Ryan Craig case. Second, we have debated this long and hard internally within the Hockey Operations Department and we really feel strongly that we want to look at our own depth players and our prospects to fill that 6th spot on the blueline. The reality is that with Boyle and Ranger as a pair and Kuba and O'Brien as a pair and with the addition of Brad Lukowich, we really are looking for a reliable and steady 6th D'man, and we think we may already have that player in our organization.
Question 12: What has happened to Nolan Pratt and Doug Janik? Are they going to be with the Lightning if they are not picked up in Free Agency? Will they be at Pre-Season Camp?
JF: Doug Janik recently signed a two-way contract with us. We had offered him the deal shortly after our season ended but he wanted to test the market for a one-way offer. Ultimately, he felt Tampa was the best fit for him and he re-signed. He will be in Camp competing for the 6th D'man spot. Pratter has not signed yet, to the best of my knowledge. We had a number of conversations with his agents, and I spoke with Pratter a couple of times as well. Pratter had a dollar value in mind that we were not prepared to meet. We made a two-year offer shortly after the Free Agency period began and, given the heated market at the time for defensemen, his agent felt they could do better than our offer. Ultimately, we signed Brad Lukowich and it changed our financial dynamics. We like Pratter, but as you saw from some of my earlier comments, we are going to give some of our other players a chance to be the 6th D'man.
Question 13: Over the past couple of seasons the lightning have had inconsistent goaltending. Have you made any moves the insure the goaltending position for the future?
JF: Please see my earlier comments regarding goaltending. Holmer, Denis and Ramo will compete in Camp for two spots and we feel good about the quality of all three guys.
Question 14: What would you do if you had to chose between ST.Louis or Lecalvier? And would you trade those two players for either Crosby or Ovechkin?
JF: Your question is a lot like asking me whether I love my daughter, Theresa, more than my son, Bobby. If only you had thrown in the guy some people think I treat like a son, Brad Richards, then you would really have the tri-fecta, b/c then it would throw my other daughter, Libby, into the mix. If I had to choose between Marty and Vinny...I'm just glad I don't have to choose between the two of them. They are incredible hockey players. They are warriors. They are leaders. They are the "heart and soul" of our hockey team, along with Richards and Dan Boyle, to name a couple more. They are dynamic guys who helped us win two Division titles, a Stanley Cup and make four consecutive playoff appearances. We are blessed to have both of them wearing Lightning uniforms. As for the other players you asked about, again, given NHL rules regarding tampering it is simply not appropriate for me to comment on guys playing for other teams.
Question 15: As you know your new primary affilate is in the same division as the Hershey Bears. An organization that you were the head of and also had as a primary affilate when you won Lord Stanely a few years back. Do you plan to return to Hershey this year to watch a game or two between the two rivals? Also do you have any thought on now being part of a primary rival of your old organization?
JF: I do look forward to returning to Hershey to watch the Norfolk Admirals battle the Bears. I have been in the new Giant Center a couple of times over the past two seasons when Springfield was in to play the Bears. I enjoy going to the Giant Center b/c I get to catch-up with a lot of old friends. The past two seasons I have been able to take my family to the Giant Center to see the Bears in the Calder Cup Finals. As for the new rivalry, I know the Bears will be loaded and ready to go. They have a great coach and a great parent organization in the Caps. I only hope that we can continue the winning ways in Norfolk where the city has enjoyed 18 consecutive playoff appearances dating back their ECHL and now AHL days. We want to win in the AHL and I hope this May and June I can be watching the Admirals win the Calder Cup. (How's that for trying to "heat up" the rivalry?! :))
Question 16: With the new addition of assistant coach Mike Sullivan, do you think Torts will make adjustments to the collapsing style defensive zone coverage to allow the team to be more aggressive physically as well as being easier on the goaltenders?
JF: While we obviously do "collapse" at times in terms of trying to get in the shooting lanes and block shots, that is NOT our first option. Our game plan and our objective, each and every game regardless of our opponent, is to engage the enemy in his own zone first and then in the neutral zone. For us, a perfect game is when we don't have to collapse and back in and block shots. We prefer to play the game in the other team's end and in the neutral zone. When we do it, man oh man, it is a thing of beauty. When we don't, and we end up backing in and collapsing, it elicits long nights and frustrated e-mails such as yours.
Question 17: Jay,
Besides Shane Obrien, what young defenseman is the most impressive in the pipeline and has a shot at becoming a starter next year? Also what are the chances of seeing some more of Artyuhkin next year?
JF: Smaby, Rogers and Mihalik...and not necessarily in that order...are three guys in the system we believe will play. We think that a Mike Lundin might be a "sleeper" if he decides to make a mental and physical commitment to the game. As for futures, we are very high on Kevin Quick who will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall. Whether any of the group plays in 2007-08 remains to be seen. It takes D'men longer to develop. Back when I took over as GM I recognized that you simply cannot trade (inexpensively) for Top Four D'men. Look at the price we paid to get Shane O'Brien, a guy our scouts think can legitimately play as a Top Four. It cost us a 1st round pick. So, from the day I started as GM, we began drafting D'men so that we could start to "home grow" them. The seeds have been planted, but the D'man crop takes a lot longer to come to market than players at other positions.
In terms of Artyukhin, we've tried...repeatedly...to get him to sign. One-year offer, two-year offer, three-year offer...and yet, he isn't interested unless we're talking seven figures, and that is NOT going to happen until Arty firmly establishes himself as an NHL player. He has signed to play in Russia again this year. We own his right for two more years after this one, and our position isn't going to change.
Question 18: What is you're "Plan B" if Vinny L. and Marty put up less numbers than they did last season?
JF: Plan "B" is that we'll expect and need more scoring from, among others, Brad Richards, who we expect to get back in the 90-100 point range; Vinny Prospal, who we need to get back in the 80 plus area; Paul Ranger and Shane O'Brien on our blueline, who should be contributing more to the offense; Michel Ouellet, who should pot 25-30 goals for us this season; Jan Hlavac, who has demonstrated he can score at the NHL level; and all the guys on the 3rd and 4th lines, as well as Brad Lukowich. However, for the record, I don't expect to have to use Plan "B" b/c in the past four years Vinny and Marty have never failed to perform at a consistently high level, and Vinny still isn't in his "prime." Our core guys are still improving!
Question 19: No question, just wanted to thank you for doing such an outstanding job,thanks!
JF: Thanks for the vote of confidence. It really is very much appreciated!
Question 20: Mr. Feaster, It seems that after watching the Lightning play for several years they employ a defensive scheme of bend but don't break. The defense falls back and protects the goalie. It seems that other teams are challenging the Lightning forwards as soon as they cross the blue line forcing them to make a decision with the puck.
What kind of a defensive plan does the new coach employ, are they going to be more aggressive with more hitting or are they going to fall back on old habits?
JF: Again, I discussed this briefly earlier, but our style or system is not designed to be a collapsing, bend-but-don't-break system. We want our guys playing UP ice, not backing into our own zone. I can tell early in a game by watching our D'men what kind of a game it's going to be for us. If we are up ice, engaging the enemy in their zone and in the neutral zone, we'll have a very good night and most likely win the hockey game. On the other hand, if we are no where near the neutral zone and our D'men are backing into our zone to save their lives, look out...we are in for a very loooonnnngggg night! We have a standing joke within the organization in which we'll talk about something like this and then say, "Just tell 'em!" As in, "just tell the guys and it'll be alright." Trust me...we DO tell them. Torts shows them. He runs practice drills designed to do nothing but get them to play up ice. And yet...some nights...ugh!
Question 21: Mr. Feaster,
Looking at the past two playoff seasons we have been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round both seasons. What do you look for from the team and the coaching staff to prevent this from happening again? GO BOLTS!!!
JF: The first key to keep from being eliminated in the post-season in the 1st round is winning the Southeast Division and getting no worse than the 3rd seed. Go back and look at our history. In 2002-03 the team won the first playoff series in franchise history and we did so as the #3 seed by virtue of winning the SE Division. In 2003-04, we won the Stanley Cup b/c we won the Division AND finished 1st in the Eastern Conference. That, in my mind, is the real key. Let's win the Division and play as no worse than a #3 seed.
Question 22: I just have one thing to say to you; never ever get rid of Lecavalier, St. Louis, Richards, Prospal and Boyle. Those 5 players are the heart of the lightning and they make lightning the lightning so don't get rid of them please they are my favorite players in the NHL and their the best!
JF: Trust me...in a perfect world we never would lose Lecavalier, St. Louis, Richards, Prospal and Boyle. Then again, in a "perfect world" we would have been able to come back from the lockout in 2005-06 and return the EXACT same team that had won the Cup in 2004! Unfortunately, that is not the world in which we play. We have to make it all work within the confines of the new CBA as well as our own revenue streams, payroll budgets, etc. Having said that, however, trust me that we've done and will continue to do everything possible to keep the core of our team together!
Question 23: Comment on the new look the Lightning will have next season!
JF: Not sure what you mean by the "new look." If you mean the new logo/uniforms, I have to admit that I don't get too caught-up in all of that. I leave that to the ticket-buying fans and those die hards who have to shell out hard earned money to wear the latest sweaters. If you mean "new look" as far as the team, I really like our team. We like the acquisitions of Gratton, Hlavac, Ouellet and Brad Lukowich, as well as the trade deadline pick-ups of Shane O'Brien and Jason Ward. We like Johan Holmqvist and the resolve he demonstrated by agreeing to play on a one-year deal this year, and we expect Marc Denis to have a bounce-back season. We have more depth organizationally than we've had in a very long time, and we still boast four of the very best superstar players in the game in Lecavalier, Richards, St. Louis and Boyle. Lots of reasons to be happy about the look of this year's team.
Question 24: Mr. Feaster I think you are without a doubt the best GM in all of hockey. I also think you have quietly had a terrific off season and upgraded a lot of the team's weaknesses. My only question right now is regarding the rumors about Jason Cullimore. I hear he is interested in returning and you guys are trying to decide on how bad you want him. Well let me speak on the behalf of many a lightning fan by saying: We want him. My question would be why turn down a guy who would sign for basiclly half price, due to his exisitng contract situation, and knows the system. He is way better a defenseman than Sarich or Pratt, and any unproven young guy. Why not bring in a guy that helped us win the cup?
JF: Thanks for the kind words. Very much appreciated. Please see some of my earlier comments regarding our thinking on the blueline. Cully is someone we have considered and certainly haven't "ruled out." However, for the time being, we like our depth guys and our prospects and we want to give them a chance in Camp. I still believe there will be some quality "veteran" D'men available during and after Camp should that need arise.
Question 25: Is the St. Pete Times Forum getting a new scoreboard? There have been some rumors, and I was hoping someone on the inside could clear it up.
JF: Yes...and I "think" it's OK for me to say that we ARE getting a new scoreboard! (If it's not OK to tell you I expect this particular answer will shortly self-destruct...)
Question 26: I really appriciate your effort in bringing us such a high quality team. I live in Winter Springs about 10 miles past Orlando. My 7 yr. old grandson and I come often(thank God for him- I started bringing him when he was two!)
MY QUESTION. I've never understood why Andre Roy has a roster spot. He does not have NHL skills at all. He did stop taking many of his "bad" penalties(offensive zone interferences,solo roughing after the whistle,etc.). BUT he still does take too many useless ones( remember that interference on a New Jersey (I think) defensemenn 100 feet away from the play? Your thoughts?
We don't need a goon. We have plenty of grit.(Unless we could get Darcy Hordachuk- I love that guy. I was a Solar Bear season ticket holder for all their 6 years.)
I'd love to meet you someday. My wife is an excellent Italian cook, if you're ever up in Orlando for an overnighter. Good luck, Jay. God bless you and your family.
JF: Thanks for the kind words and the offer of a good home-cooked Italian meal if ever I'm in the Orlando area! That is very much appreciated! In terms of Andre Roy, I honestly believe that Andre is a much better player than: a) people give him credit for being and; b) than he himself even understands! Andre has a BOOMING shot...the kind of shot that HURTS a goalie when it hits him, and I have encouraged him time and again to USE IT MORE OFTEN! Really, he hurts goalies when he unloads that blast and I would like to see him shoot more often. He also can protect the puck down low which is important in our puck possession game. Perhaps most importantly, if you asked Vinny Lecavalier or Brad Richards or Marty St. Louis, they would tell you that they LOVE having Andre on their team, b/c they know that his presence alone means they will have more room on the ice and other players won't be as quick to take liberties with them. You are right in that we want and need "team toughness." We're getting there, slowly but surely...Andre, Tarnasky, Gratton, O'Brien...slowly but surely...
Question 27: You had mentioned in your interview about losing Modin on Brad's line. Are there ANY plans of bringing him back? He is very much missed on both Brad's line and by the fans! He is a quality guy and much respected by his peers. I know he has a multi-year contract with Columbus, but has any talks been made?
Thanks in advance!
JF: Again, I cannot comment on specific players on other teams b/c it can constitute tampering. However, I can say, in the case of Modin, I did speak with former Columbus GM, Doug McLean, prior to the trade deadline last season about their plans and Doug informed me they were working hard on trying to re-sign Mo and they ultimately were able to do so. Mo helped us win a Stanley Cup and two Division titles. He will be a part of our organization forever by virtue of winning that Cup, just as ALL of the guys who were part of that magical 2004 team will be part of us forever.
Question 28: Hi,I really want to thankyou for the pass 4+great Hockey seasons you guys have had over there.Its a shame that some good hockey players you have had left cause of money.I wish I could play with your team as a member or your team for free just cause I love the game.My question for you though is,"Is there a chance you can trade ramo for another Defense men?"Considering Ramo's play time in the NHL I must say he didn't show any signs of being able to handle the pressure.I am sure he will be a decent goaltender but marc is better then ramo hands down.Johan is our best goalie at the moment unless he falls apart during training camp.By the way,I want you guys to know I will be representing TBL at a few NHL 2k7-8 tournaments.But I wish you guys a great 2007-08 season and lets get pass the first round this time lol.
A true TBL fan no matter the wins or losts.See you in the preseason :-)
JF: We consider Ramo to be our goalie of the not-to-distant-future. He is knocking on the door right now and we like the way he has developed since he turned pro. I would not consider trading him at this time and especially not for a D. As I said, we now have 5 legitimate NHL D'men in Boyle, Ranger, Kuba, O'Brien and Lukowich. We also have a stable of promising young D'men coming soon...Smaby, Mihalik, Rogers, Quick...I see no reason to move our goalie of the future for a D (or for any other position) at this time. GOOD LUCK in the NHL 2k7-8 tournaments! If you are representing the Lightning, MAKE US PROUD!