Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/02/14 at 09:58 AM ET
from Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times,
The Lightning is in an interesting place when it comes to the trade deadline.
Thanks to injured defensemen Mattias Ohlund and Brian Lee being on long-term injured reserve, it has about $3 million of cap space. It also will be getting back injured star Steven Stamkos before or after the break, a nice jolt of extra offense for a team that already averages 2.9 goals.
That means general manager Steve Yzerman can concentrate on adding blue-line depth or, if he wants to try to go big, a top-four player to really add some stability.
There are a couple of intriguing options, neither of which has been linked publicly to the Lightning but perhaps merit some consideration: the Islanders' Andrew MacDonald and Detroit's Kyle Quincey....
Quincey, 28, is a much more expensive option (he is making $4 million this season and could become unrestricted), but is a defensive specialist. And with players such as Victor Hedman and Mark Barberio able to move the puck, a stable, reliable presence in the defensive zone might be what Tampa Bay needs.
The Red Wings still are in the playoff hunt. But if Detroit decides it is not a Stanley Cup contender, Quincey, who averages 20:32 of ice time and is second on the team with 72 blocked shots, could become available. And don't forget Yzerman's connection and friendship with Red Wings GM Ken Holland.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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