The Lightning Insider
The Lightning practiced at noon today on what was originally scheduled to be an off day following a disappointing road trip. I could go on at length about the decisions made by the Game Operations folks in Philly the other night, but I’ll take the high road and make this a “clean out the email” day instead.
Yes, the team made it back from snowy Columbus last night after almost never making it to Ohio in the first place. Kudos to director of team services Phil Thibodeau for pulling off yet anther travel miracle!
So, here goes the email:
There wasn’t a name attached to this one, but the question asked was what will the Lightning do with the first or second pick in the NHL Entry Draft.
First of all, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There’s still a Draft Lottery to go through, and hopefully the Bolts will be in the top two once it is completed. If all works out, I completely expect Jay Feaster to select the best player available. This year is expected to be a strong draft and though some might suggest you trade the pick for the best quick-fix package available, it’s more likely the long-term good of the franchise will be addressed.
Becky is wondering what the plan for Marc Denis will be. Do the Lightning trade him, eat his salary or play him?
Becky, with the arrival of Mike Smith I think it’s likely we’ve seen the last of Marc in Tampa, but you never know. Assuming Marc doesn’t somehow get another shot, I’m sure the Lightning would continue to try to do their best to trade him. If there are no takers, it’s been rumored in the media that the team would buy out the final year of his contract this summer, which makes financial sense.
The next one is more of a statement than a question, but I thought Lightning fans might want to see what Chris from San Antonio thought of the big deadline deal between the Lightning and Stars.
My name is Chris, and I am a huge Stars fan from San Antonio, TX. I just wanted to let you know my thoughts on the trade moves. I am extremely excited about the acquisitions by the Stars yesterday, and I think both players will be huge additions to our team this year and in the future. I can't do justice in explaining the talent level of the players Tampa Bay received from us as well. I hope your fans have been well informed as to what their team has gained. Mike Smith, or as we called him, Smitty, was one more bad post season showing from Turco from being our #1. He has relatively the same playing style as Marty, and in some ways I think he may be more sound. You will have a great goalie for many years!
The player I will miss the most is Jussi Jokinen. Unbelievable young hockey talent, who has not yet reached his pinnacle and is already tremendous. He is a flat-out play maker, and has a great hockey name to boot. Halpern is by no means a slouch in his own right. He is a very versatile two-way player, with grit, determination, and the skills to improve any line. All in all, I think both teams improved from this trade. I just wanted to let you and your fans know the quality and team players they received a little better. I know I'll be following Tampa Bay for having made this deal.
Stephanie asked if the Lightning had a better season, would it have affected the trade decisions that were made at the deadline.
Absolutely, Stephanie. If the Lightning had been in a playoff position at the deadline, it’s unlikely that Brad Richards, Johan Holmqvist or Vaclav Prospal would have been traded. However, I still think the Lightning would’ve parted ways with Prospal (unrestricted free agent) during the summer, and the Richards trade might still have been a necessity.
A couple of people asked about the status of Andre Roy after he was sent home from this past road trip.
Andre met with Lightning GM Jay Feaster this morning and Feaster issued the following statement:
“Today I met with Andre Roy, and also met with John Tortorella and members of his coaching staff, regarding not just the incident that took place between periods and on the bench during the third period in Philadelphia on March 6, but also other situations that have taken place this season involving Andre.
“At this time I have directed Andre to take the week off away from the team, with pay, while our internal discussions and overall review continues. We will not have any further statement or comment to make at this time, and Andre has been asked by the Club not to discuss the matter with the media, until such time as there is a conclusive resolution.”
Finally, Rebecca from Dallas read on The Insider last week that Mike Smith was doing an interview to be aired during the intermission of Friday’s game in New Jersey. Rebecca could only see the game on the Center Ice Package (New Jersey broadcast) and she’s wondering if Sun Sports will re-air the interview or if it can show up on TBL.com.
Rebecca, I spoke with Lightning web guru Jamie Williams and he tells me he’s already requested the interview from Sun Sports. Hopefully he’ll be able to get it on the site soon!
Thanks for all the questions!