Jump to content

Lightning preview- are they still contenders for the cup?

Recommended Posts

FINAL RECORD 46-30-6 98 points, 3rd in Division, 6th in conference. Lost in first round to the Leafs in 6 games. plus 29 goal differential


ADDITIONS Tyler Motte signed yesterday to play 4th line minutes. Michael Eysimmont was brought on board to possibly play 3rd line late in the year.  Glendening is the new 4th line center. Jonas Johansson is the new backup goalie. Logan Brown came from the Blues as a depth player. Calvin De Haan is the new 6D. Sheary is the new veteran bottom six replacement for Perry.


DEPARTURES Last years 4th line was near elite, Perry, Bellemare and Maroon are all gone because of cap issues. Ian Cole has moved on from the back end. Elliott is no longer the backup goalie.


PROSPECTS Alfenelt is one of my favorite prospects, I believe he could play in net in the NHL right now but obviously with Valilevskiy in goal there is simply no room and he is best used in the AHL where he can get some starts. Cole Koepke will be the first callup when/if a forward goes down, he can play either wing but provides little offense.Gage Concalves and Felix Robert are CMinus prospects among forwards. Nobody on the back end is anywhere enar ready. Like most teams that finish high in the standings year after year and deal picks away, the Bolts are among the lowest rated farm systems in the game.


SO CAN THEY STILL WIN THE STANLEY CUP? An aside frist, they have signed nearly the entire team to long term deals and Steven Stamkos is an UFA at 33 at the end of the year. Very little has been mentioned about him, do you sign the face of the franchise to a five year deal at his age or let him walk for the cap savings?


Players who they have signed for long term are

Kucherov (4)

Point (6)

Cirelli (6)

Paul (6)

Hagel (6)

Jeanot (3) 

Sheary (3)

Eysimmont (2)

Glendening (2)

Sergechev (6)

Cernak (6)

Hedman (2)

Perbix (2)

Raddysh (3)

Vasilevskiy (6)

Johansson (2)


  No other team in the league has done this. Many players have foregone potential earnings with a higher cap for long term stability knowing where they will play much or most of their career. This year the stammer problem will need addressed, next year Hedman, but the core is there forever. 


 CAN THEY WIN ANOTHER CUP? Man, I am so torn in this one. I dthink they are much weaker on the lower lines this year, I literally hate every move.


Maroon over Motte

Bellemare over Glendening

Perry over Sheary

Cole over De Haan

Elliott over Johansson

Logan Brown has done nothing to suggest he is an NHL player.


  So it is not one of these moves, but ALL of them. Half a dozen lower end roster spots are all slightly weaker than the year before. The core is signed long term with a few pieces still needing that last big contract as well. The Leafs built their team to beat the Bolts and they did so, I want to say that Tampa can still win a cup if everything goes right that in the postseason the 4th line and bottom pair play less minutes anyway and while I dont like the moves the guys they lost were spear carriers anyway and not superstars. 


 No. I dont think they can or will win another cup with this team. I see them as making the playoffs, 3rd in the Division out in the first round, maybe the second round if all breaks right, I see that year after year. It is unusual to lock up more or less an entire roster for the long term with little tweaks along the way and I respect that but I think they are at that natural tipping point where they will start being passed by younger hungrier clubs. They saw it last season, I believe it will continue. They are still an absolutely amazing organization but I think the window has closed. They are now bunched in with teams such as Colorado and Pittsburgh who are still living off past reputaton and will do some damage but do not have enough for another cup run. Damn I hate saying that but that is where I see them. #rd place, likely first round knockout.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was my longest writeup because I have struggled with the Bolts much more than any other team. It is hard to say a team with Kucherov, Point, Stammer, Hedman, Vasilevskiy and Sergechev is no longer quite a cup contender but that is what i see when I look at them. Still a brilliant franchise that goes about their business a bit different than literally any other club in the game signing everyone long term to provide stability but I think it just wont work anymore. Love that they dare to be different. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

Do you sign the face of the franchise to a five year deal at his age or let him walk for the cap savings?


Option #3: I force him to take a discount deal to actually become the face of the franchise. If not, let him walk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Math said:


Option #3: I force him to take a discount deal to actually become the face of the franchise. If not, let him walk.

Yzerman did that with him on his last contract. He was approaching UFA status, Yzerman stressed to him the importance of spending his entire career with one team, he took less money to remain a Bolt than he would have certainly gotten from Tampa and likely several other teams as well, kinda like Bergeron has always done with Boston. This will be his last payday, he might make more elsewhere, or take a bit less to stay, i personally cannot see him in any other jersey but I felt that way with Kaner and quite a few others. Tough call, especially with Hedman a year behind him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...