Lightning Prospect System Gaining Stability.

This is my first ever try at a blog, so go easy on me. It seemed like yesterday when one would look at the Tampa Bay Lightning depth chart and feel pity. Even when the big club started contending for the playoffs in 2003, one year removed from the Dudley regime, their prospect cupboard was nothing short of bare. They had no AHL affiliate, no goalie of the future, most prospects overseas, and only a handfull of players competing in the ranks of the CHL. Heck, all they had to show from the Dudley drafts was Nikita Alexeev and Alex Svitov. Now, only three years later, the Lightning have a full time AHL affiliate fully stocked with players, they own the rights to TEN goaltenders, including one first rounder, Riku Helenius, and Finnish prodigy, Karri Ramo, and multiple players in the CHL and NCAA. The biggest success, however, is in the fact that three players to come out of the Lightning Developmental system became NHL regulars in 2005-06, two of which were Feaster picks.

Luongo gone !

A fond farewell to Roberto Luongo from the SE Division - who knows what the Panthers will come up with for their #1 goalie, but his first name wont be Roberto and we wont have to painfully watch those 40 save nights posted against us. The Bolts not facing Luongo in net should translate into an extra W or 2 or 3 during the course of the season, assuming we can sign our own #1 netminder. We better also find a strong D-man type to match up with their new big and bad forward Bertuzzi !

Luongo to Canucks....

I don't like the trade of Luongo to the Canucks...sure they get Todd Bertuzzi coming back but I think the cats could've done alot better than Toldd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, and Alex Auld. I mean this is good for the Bolts who have always struggled against Luongo. Sending him out west is a definite plus for the Bolts and the SE Division, but I still think they could've gotten a better deal for him. Now we must wait and see how the Bolts do in the draft. I really hope they don't get Mark Denis from Columbus...he isn't the #1 goalie this team needs. I'd say of the ones that are mentioned that they get Nabokov...I mean he's under contract for the next few years and is very we'll just have to wait and see.

My Mock Draft

It's been a long while since I did one of these:

Congratulations Carolina

You have no idea how hard it is for me to compliment a division rival but the Hurricanes, but they are due a lot of respect for what they've accomplished in winning the Stanley Cup tonight. In many ways their season and their run to the Cup was very similar to the Lightning's two years ago. So, congratulations Carolina and in particular Cory Stillman, whom I respect as a hockey player more than 99% of the players in this league. And condolences to Edmonton, who for the past ten or so years has been a gritty heart and soul franchise that has been nothing but a credit to this league. All that said, next season the Lightning need to take their trophy back.
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