Tis the season...for trades....

So it's that time of year again, when all the teams around the league are either looking to make a big splash with a pickup or start over by moving players. Yes, it is trade season once again. For the last several years, the bolts have been buyers in the market, for the most part. This season though time has seemingly caught up with them and they re-enter the sellers market. I'm not opposed to this though at all. I think it's time to get some new blood into the system and team, shake things up a bit. With not much talent at the NHL level besides the few big names and pretty much no "blue chip" prospects in the pipeline in the minors, some good prospects and high picks coming our way to re-energize the team and system might be exactly what is needed. Sure it may take a couple seasons for it all to workout, but in the longrun it may be the best thing for this organization. It's seems pretty safe to say that Prospal, being unrestricted, having publically called out his coach, and apparently asking for money that's too rich for the bolts to consider, is going to be moved. It bodes well for the team though that he is having a terrific year and will set a new career high for himself in goals, he'll get at least 30. If the bolts are smart, and that is always a worry with Feaster's decision making, Marc Denis (nuff said), they should be able to get a decent prospect or prospects and picks for him. Also, with the Dan Boyle situation. That's a tough one there. Who wouldn't want Boyle, a standout number one defender who oh just happens to be as talented with the puck and on his skates as there is in the league. There isn't a GM in the world that wouldn't give up their first born child just to get his hands on Boyle...well lets hope they wouldn't go that far, but you get the point. With that said it is no secret that Boyle will command top D-man pay and rightfully so. As much as I know the Bolts would love to resign him, that just doesn't seem realistically possible...well unless Oren Koules gets control of the team before the deadline and is willing to open his wallet to keep Boyle. Sadly I don't see him taking over complete control in time to keep Boyle locked up. With that said moving Boyle seems to be the path that will have to be taken. With his talent though he should bring a bounty of prospects/high picks to the team, if they play it right...and god help us on that one. On another site I read someone proposed this, Boyle to the Rangers for Cheraponov...hmm....bank that one. If that were an option I'd pull the trigger on that one in half a heart beat. Or even package Boyle with someone else, maybe Gratton or Kuba, whomever...maybe throw a pick in there too for Cheraponov and Al Montoya? With the players that may and should move from this team, the Bolts could come out pretty well...again, if they play it right. I will be praying nightly that divine intervention takes over and makes things happen instead of just Feaster making the calls...ugh. Anyway, as a Bolt fan I support the team through the wins and losses, hopefully more wins than losses ya know. But it is time to retool the team and build it for the future so there are winning seasons longterm. Also, a high pick in this years draft would be nice too. They have a fair decent shot at the possible #1 pick. If so, a pick up like Steve Stamkos, plus some other decent picks in what is considered a good draft, may be just what the doctor ordered for the longterm future success of the franchise. Lastly, I do think Feaster may be a decent hockey executive but not so great at the whole GM deal. Also, Torts is a great coach but those with that gruff style don't last long because they all come in and whip their team into shape and get results early but eventually the teams tune them out. At this point it seems that is where we are at. So, a new GM and a new coach, coupled with new young players/prospects could be the shot in the arm the team needs now and for the future. Time will tell but it all starts now with the trade deadline, so we'll have to wait and see how it all plays out. I know I'll be praying for change.

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what about now?

I've bought my tickets for this year, but if they win in regulation Saturday you need to rethink. After enduring a horribly disappointing season, this team has come out of the nose dive. Maybe if they had fired Torts back in November, we may have avoided this situation. Everybody has alot into this... you can't pack up the tent just yet!

Go Bolts!

Well maybe you misunderstood

Well maybe you misunderstood what I was saying, so let me clarify for you. In no way shape or form and I "packing up the tent" on the season. I'm a Bolt fan whether their tops in the standings or cellar dwellers. I am a realist though. With the southeast being the southleast this season the Bolts are still in the playoff hunt via a chance at winning the division. At the same time though I look at this team and don't see the depth to make a long playoff run. I'd rather be not so good in the short term so that this team can bounce back and be successful in the longrun. I would love to see Koules open his wallet and pay the 6-7 million that Boyle will command a year. I'm not sure I see it happening though and I would hate to see them hang onto him and or prospal and then get nothing for them when they leave via free agency in the off season. That is what I was saying. They can offer the team possible options for the future and that can't just be let go.

1.) I would be mildly

1.) I would be mildly surprised if Boyle moves now. I think Koules will want to re-sign him and make a splash.

2.) That means the Lightning's biggest trade chip is Vaclav Prospal. I think Prospal can possibly bring in a late 1st round pick or a good young goaltender, and maybe even more. I don't see teams stupidly overpaying this year the way Waddell and Atlanta did last year for guys like Tkachuk, but I still think Jay should be able to get at least a 1st if he plays the market right.

3.) The number two trade chip should be Filip Kuba or Brad Lukowich. One of the two needs to go, in my opinion. It would be nice to move Kuba's $3M off the books and get a 2nd round pick back in the process.

4.) Chris Gratton is going to go. I suspect you get a 3rd or 4th round pick tops for that guy.

5.) Beyond that, you have to make some decisions about which of the role guys you want to keep. I wouldn't mind moving Janik. Roy might have some value. Will anyone take Holmqvist? Etc etc.

Prospal

I know he is playing for a contract, but he is playing like, and acting like a guy that wants to stay. The others (offense)are feeding on it. You don't throw $44 million down the payroll toilet if you still have a chance. The 5 or 6 million we get for a playoff round is far more valuable than an iffy pick (especially with our record). Boyle stays... if he goes so does my season tickets for next year. Gratton is finally playing the way I thought he would.

Kuba, not worth the money, but helpful. Lukowich, big hitter, bigger defensive liability. I would consider keeping Boyle and Vinny, and shipping - 26 (on the plus/minus), and saving the eight million.

You also don't throw away a

You also don't throw away a 1st or 2nd round pick for the outside possibility that you make the playoffs just to get routed in the first round for the third year in a row.

tough call/ tonight's game may determine...

the year we won the cup, I never saw it coming... I thought at best second round 5-6 games. It didn't seem then that we had the goaltending... Some wanted Grahamm to replace Habby. But if you watched last year we failed because Tort's played the stars too much, and we got beat by a more balanced team. The teams who faired well last year had depth. This is the first time in two years Torts has give the 3 & 4th lines a chance. This is key and improves our chances...these guys are gaining confidence/momentum. Tonight's game is huge in helping management decide what to do. I'm saying at best status quo; I wouldn't make any additions.

04

We also entered the playoffs as a 1 seed and played like a machine for the majority of the regular season, despite a little hiccup at the end. That team was going deep, no question. A Cup? I think that takes most folks by surprise. It's just too tough a ride to predict your team will go all the way (on most years).

The past few playoff teams have been sporadic, inconsistent, shallow... but capable of winning any given game.

There is/was a difference between the possibility of putting a few games together (post-04) and the idea of a team beating a No.1 seed 4 times in 7.

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