Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Sean Burke

I keep reading complaints about Sean Burke, and I'm confused. Why do people have such a problem with him? I read trade proposals and people are practically begging other teams to take him from us. I just dont get it. His overall record isnt the best. I'll admit that. This year was the first year since 2002-03 that he was over .500. It isn't like he just stood there and let the shots through. Yes, his glory days are over, but he was a good backup. Most nights he gave the team a chance to win (I say most, because no goalie can go an entire season without at least one bad night).

Lightning Say Good-Bye to 4

The St. Pete Times is reporting the Lightning did not extend qualifying offers to the following players: Center Martin Cibak (Tampa Bay), Forward J.F. Soucy (San Diego ECHL), Winger Dennis Packard (Johnstown ECHL), and Defenseman Gerard Dicaire (Springfield AHL). The move means all will become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Offers were extended to Lightning players Cory Sarich, Evgeni Artyukhin, Ryan Craig, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Dimitri Afanasenkov. Their rights will be maintained. Cibak was not expected to be back as he split last season between the ice and the press box. With GM Jay Feaster saying he wanted a more physical fourth line that can provide offense, the writing was on the wall for Cibak. This opens the door for either Nick Tarnasky (physical play) or recently signed Eric Perrin (offense) to step in. Both will compete with Tim Taylor for the third line spot, also. Soucy fell out of favor with the organization last season and was loaned out to multiple ECHL teams. Packard, a monster of a forward, never found his game after graduating from Harvard, and Dicaire, a promising young defenseman who almost made the Lightning squad out of junior, unfortunately had to battle injuries, ailments, and Lightning affiliate challenges in his young career.

Jones/Times Mention Three Potential Picks

Work on a deal for a starting goaltender continues [url=http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/24/Lightning/Goalie_still_tops_Lig.shtml]according to this morning's article by Tom Jones in the St. Pete Times[/url], but don't expect the Lightning to go for a goaltender or a defenseman with their top draft choice. Instead, Jones mentions Cape Breton's James Sheppard, Vasteras' Patrik Berglund and Barrie's Bryan Little, all forwards, as potential choices for the Lightning. Interesting note: the Lightning's draft list is apparently only 80 players deep this year because the club is only looking for players which meet their high character standards.

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 !

Sports Forecaster Mock Draft

I've decided to link this one since it is one of the very few mock drafts that has a solid rationale behind it rather than knee jerking for a goaltender. [url=http://www.forecaster.ca/tbo/hockey/extras.cgi?2006-nhl-draft-mock]Canada's Sports Forecaster service has the Lightning selecting Cape Breton power forward James Sheppard[/url] with the #15 pick. Red Line has compared the left winger to a young Kirk Muller.
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