For the Tampa Bay Lightning, the future begins now. Over the course of the next two and a half weeks, the Lightning will embark on rebuilding the on ice product through the NHL entry draft and unrestricted free ageny, which begins July 1st. With the press conferences out of the way, it's time to see what Steve Yzerman can do as a General Manager in the National Hockey League.
Over the course of the next several days, we will look at a separate challenge the Lightning has facing them, as well as what some of their options may be — a state of the Lightning, if you will.
When Mr Yzerman was introduced to the media, I asked what he thought the biggest need was for the team moving forward; he answered that the team needs second NHL goalie on the roster to go along with Mike Smith. Not exactly a vote of confidence for Kari Ramo, Dustin Tokarski or Jaroslav Janus . So that leaves us with exploring what is available through trade or unrestricted free agency. When looking at trade options, the first place you have to go is to Montreal, where both Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak are both restricted free agents and looking for a big payday. It is rumored out of Montreal that one of these goalies could be had, for the right price. Another, more unrealistic option is to look at unrestricted free agency. The big name out there is Evgeni Nabakov. Due to the current cap constraints of the team, this is really a non-option, as what he would get if he were to hit the open market would be a lot more then the team is able to spend.