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My take on Friday’s move

Posted Dec 29, 2006 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Dec 29, 2006 at 10:09 PM

Don’t want to get too in-depth on this, but wanted to give my thoughts on Friday’s actions.

First of all, waiving both Dmitry Afanasenkov and Andreas Karlsson is a move purely to open up some salary cap space. If one or both are claimed, then obviously they are gone and won’t be back. If one or both clear waivers, then a reassignment to Springfield is not imminent. They will stay with the team should they clear and continue to be on the active roster.

But what Jay Feaster has done has cleared the way for a possible trade. He believed he had one in place last week so clearly he is working on something and it will require him to clear some space to get it done. By waiving Karlsson and Afanasenkov, and adding in the relief from Rob DiMaio’s long term injury, Tampa Bay now has about $1.6 million space under the salary cap, a number that is not insignificant considering the Lightning’s cap constraints. That means, as we are nearly halfway through the season, the Lightning could potentially bring in a $3 million player, not counting whatever player(s) would be going the other way in any potential trade.

And even if nothing is imminent at this point, the team still has a 30-day or 10-games played window to assign either Karlsson or Afanasenkov to the minors without having to clear waivers a second time.

I know fans have been hard on Feaster for being so frank about needing to make a trade with nothing happening to this point, but trades are harder to make in the new NHL. It’s as much about salary swaps as it is about talent swaps. And many teams are looking to dump their free agent mistakes and make them somebody else’s problem. Feaster is in near daily conversations with other teams and I believe that he will get something done, and sooner rather than later.

Tampa Bay needs help on defense. Paul Ranger is suffering a severe case of sophomore slump, Cory Sarich is clearly not worth the $1.9 million he is making this season, Filip Kuba has been good offensively but is still needs some improvement in his own end. Nolan Pratt is what he is, a hard-worker who just doesn’t have the talent while Luke Richardson just hasn’t been a good fit in the Lightning system.

Though there is some guys in the minors - Mike Egener and Matt Smaby - who could provide some help with their mobility, they are not the answer right now.

If they are going to find help on defense, it’s going to come in a trade. And by putting two players who are not contributing much to the team right now on waivers, Feaster has given himself some flexibility to get something done as he continues to work the phones.

Reader Comments

Por (Marsha Bryant) on December 29, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Well I’ll continue to be hard on Jay Feaster because he gave away Fredrik Modin for an unproven goalie on a lousy team. IMHO, Richie’s slump has as much to do with missing Modo as with the extra pressure of his big bucks. Modin gave the Bolts needed spark on the forecheck. Prospal and Feds have been trying to make up the difference, and that is likely the reason they’re not in position to score as much as they did last season.

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Por (Ruthe Robertson) on December 29, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Surprised at your harsh comments about Sarich and Pratt. Always seem to be steady, hard working players. Yes, they make mistakes but who on the Bolts team doesn’t. Guess this waiver thing is a start. Still think Feds and Prospal will have to go to get a good defenseman. Just hope Feaster doesn’t get another Richardson. Regardless of who they obtain, we still won’t win without steady goaltending and better play by Brad and Ranger.

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Por (Andrzej Baniukiewicz) on December 30, 2006 (Suggest removal)

The very right comment written in “My take on Friday’s move” about Nolan Pratt seems to be true about Jay Feaster and John Tortorella as well.

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Por (Ken Knaebel) on December 30, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Well, Feaster actually did something, finally. It’s not really a gut-wrenching decision to place 2 popcorn servers on waivers. If Jay’s clearing cap space, he might as well put Richardson on waivers also.

Sarich is not a positional, stick-checking defensemen. He’s a physical, take the body-type guy. This coaching staff has him playing a style that doesn’t suit him and it shows. Who’s to blame, the player or the coaches that bring him back and ask him to do something he’s not good at doing? My guess is the coaches.

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Por (MIke Moulton) on December 30, 2006 (Suggest removal)

I agree completely with your assessment of our defense situation. Trading Prospal for a good defenseman would be okay in my book, but not Fedetenko he is such a good all around player.  Smaby and Egener might not be ready yet, but there could be some other AHL prospects who are.

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Por (Eric Justason) on December 30, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Enough is enough. Torts talks until he’s blue in the face about accoutability, yet no one seems to be hold accountable. The waivers are a start, and hopefully adding some depth. Everyone seems so focused on d-depth, and while that’s needed, our third and fourth lines e are AHL caliber at best. The Bolts need a least a 10-goal scorer on each of those lines, and Prospal has to go. Couldn’t hit the ocean with a beach ball at this point. I can’t even make it through a full game anymore, it’s just such BORING hockey.

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Por (Debbie Machalow) on December 30, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Now I understand why the two guys were moved - to clear up cap space, but Affy wasnt really the problem.  We could have moved one of the seven defensemen or something.  I dont like them moving Affy off the team, he was playing well too.

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Por (Mike) on December 30, 2006 (Suggest removal)

I find it interesting that you mention the weakness of every defenseman, but yet one continues to get a free pass as far as his defensive play goes. I will be the first to admit what Boyle brings to the team offensively, but defensively, he has been nothing short of horrible this year. Why the constant free pass for Boyle?

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Por (Robert Logan) on December 30, 2006 (Suggest removal)

Marsha - perhaps the only way to get Denis was to trade Modin.  He wasn’t “given” away.  Plus, he’s a pending unrestricted Free agent and could have left for nothing.  NOBODY thought Denis would be this disappointing.  NOBODY.  Some people thought he might be average or not great, but not like this.  Some of it is the defense.  This team misses Kubina on the PK so much more than is being talked about.  3 blocked shots a game makes a difference.

Richards had plenty of success without Modin on his wing - in fact Richards made Modin not vice versa.  Modin’s 1st 30 goal season was Richard’s rookie year.  Modin’s next 2 years were injury riddled, but Richards blossomed.

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Por (Marsha Bryant) on January 02, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Robert: I said I thought Richie was missing Mo, not that Mo “made” him. A player of Richie’s caliber ultimately makes himself. I do think Mo’s good forechecking kept Richie from having to work the boards as much as he has had to do this season.

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