Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

TSN's Tip: Tampa Will Go Off The Board For Goalie

TSN released its mock draft today, and again, Tampa is falsely accused of having a shallow pool of goaltenders to develop. TSN not only has Tampa taking a goalie at 15, but going off the board to take the Everett Silvertip's Leland Irving ahead of Jonathan Bernier and Riku Helenius as the draft's first goalie. Irving, who is not an ideal Jeff Reese goaltender in size at 6-0, had a terrific playoff run for the 'Tips and has good numbers (1.91 GAA, .925 sv%), but was rated the No.3 North American goalie by ISS and the No.37 prospect overall by The Hockey News. TSN cites Irving's rising stock as a reason he'll make the jump up to 15.

Fox Sports Mocks the Draft

Fox Sports [url=http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/story/5712486]has posted their mock draft[/url] for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft that will be held in Vancouver on Saturday. With the 15th pick they have the Lightning selecting Minnesota high school star Mike Forney. The pick is actually better than their rationale, but count me among those who would be highly disappointed if Bryan Little fell to 15 and the Lightning actually passed on him.

Lightning Looking to Deal #1 Pick

SPTimes.com [url=http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/17/Lightning/Habit_of_draft_shakeu.shtml]finally managed to fix the link to Saturday's article by Tom Jones regarding Saturday's NHL Draft in Vancouver.[/url] Jones points to the good chance the Lightning could deal their pick and a forward like Fredrik Modin or Ruslan Fedotenko to try to acquire a goaltender the caliber of the Ducks' J.S. Giguere or the Sharks' Evgeny Nabokov. In the article Jay Feaster also echoes the position of Bolt Prospects that the Lightning have built up significant positional depth and are now in a position to focus on taking the best player available. In particular, the organization points to its depth in terms of prospects on defense and between the pipes.

John Grahame

I personally have a varying opinion about John Grahame than the average Lightning fan. Most fans want someone new between the pipes, I don't. Most fans will compalain that because of him the team faltered. I disagree with that. I'll admitt that he wasn't as consistent as he should have been. However, this was his first year being the number one guy. The first year isn't always as easy as Ryan Miller or Henrik Lundqvist would make people believe. Also keep in mind that there was the lockout last year. To go from backup, to starter with a year off in between, that isn't an easy job. Please also remember the rule changes, before he was just a guy being given a shot at a job he knew, now he's a guy given a shot at a job he doesnt know very well.

TSN Mocks the Lottery Picks

TSN.ca has [url=http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=7065&hubname=]posted a mock draft of the top-14 picks in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft on June 24th in Vancouver.[/url] The only real surprise in the bunch was Artem Ansimov at 14 to the Canucks. It will be interesting to see how the Russians are selected in this draft. On the one hand, the new IIHF agreement makes it easier to get a Russian to North America. On the other, only having a two year window to sign a prospect seems to be terribly risky given how hard it can be to sign Russians who are paid handsomely in the Superleague. In this scenario the Lightning would choose from, amongst others, Mike Forney, Niklas Berglund and Riku Helenius.
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