The Tampa Bay Lightning just cant seem to get away from this rumor: Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle may be available, then again, he may not be. We have been down this road before. He has "almost" been traded probably more then any other current player. His no-movement clause has gone on a summer vacation, not to return until this Sunday at midnight.
There is no question he is an elite defenseman, someone who will improve whatever roster he joins. So why would the Lightning be interested in this type of player and why now?
To answer this question, we need to look at where the team is at now. Obviously there has been a lot of good that has been done this summer with this roster. (On paper) it's fair to suggest that the Lightning could finish anywhere from 6th to 10th in the East.
The next question: How far away is this team from making a significant, deep playoff run, and how would adding a Tomas Kaberle change that if acquired? Kaberle is an elite puck moving defenseman, who can anchor a teams blue line. Looking at the Lightnings defense, a puck moving defenseman is still an area of need, (with all due respect to Pavel Kubina) so adding a Kaberle would address a need.
Here is where it gets tricky, the cost.
The general sentiment is that it would cost the team Ryan Malone. I understand what Malone brings to the table. His particular skill set is hard to come by and he's just an overall good guy. So it is easy to see the hesitation. But there is also that contract, which when signed under the previous regime was not a cap-friendly contract.
There is the grit factor that Malone brings, although one could argue that Yzerman is building his team with an emphasis on skill and not grit.
Here is the tempting part for Steve Yzerman: Does acquiring a player like Kaberle make them one of the elite teams in the East, in the same ballpark as the Capitals and Penguins? If Yzerman thinks so and can make a deal to get Kaberle without giving up part of the future (i.e. prospects and or picks) then I can see the temptation.
AHL Coach Named The Lightning announced yesterday that they hired Jon Cooper to be the bench boss of the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. Cooper spent the past two seasons as the head coach of the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers, where he led them to an 84-27-9 record.
Thank you Thank you to the almost 1900 of you that checked out my last article, I appreciate the support. And for those of you that suggested it, I will in fact look into womens curling coverage, as it was one of my favorite olympic sports to watch!