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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lightning Trade Kubina to Flyers and Moore to the Sharks

Steve Yzerman, Vice President and General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, finally made a couple of good managing moves and he did so by trading Dominic Moore (last Thursday) and Pavel Kubina (on Saturday). If you are wondering why I use the word “finally” please read my article: “Goalie Gonna Need Some Shades”—let me just say Roloson, Mike Smith and John Gibson.

I am going to begin by discussing the recent trades by Yzerman and then I shall provide some deserved criticism towards the management team of the Philadelphia Flyers.  

Last Thursday, February 16, Yzerman traded Dominic Moore to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a Second Round pick in the upcoming 2012 draft. Moore is 31 years old and only has 19 points in 56 games this year, and in the plus-minus category he was -10. Furthermore, Moore is going to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Thus said, this was an excellent trade for Yzerman, but it gets even better.

On Saturday, February 18, Yzerman traded Pavel Kubina to the Flyers in exchange for a Second Round draft pick in either 2012 or 2013, a Fourth Round pick in the 2013 draft, and Jon Kalinski who is a forward currently playing in the minors. Sounds good, but when you consider that Kubina is 34 years old and that he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer—it is an outstanding move for Steve Yzerman and the Lightning.

On the other hand, it was an absolutely insane move by Philadelphia because they are trading away their future. The “Chairman” of the Flyers is Snider, the President is Peter Luukko, the Senior Vice President is Bobby Clarke, and the General Manager is Paul Holmgren. These guys already proved themselves insane last summer when they convinced themselves that Ilya Bryzagalov could lead them to a Stanley Cup, and they subsequently bestowed upon him a 9 year contract worth a whopping 51 million! That contract is hard to bloody believe considering his total collapse last year in the First Round of the playoffs against the Red Wings (when he was with the Coyotes)! The Wings won four straight and it was one of the worst playoff performances by a goalie that I have ever seen. Bryzgalov played well during the regular season but it was the first really good year he had ever had in his entire career! In fact, Anaheim put Bryzgalov on waivers and that is how he ended-up in Phoenix. He was going to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2011 so he had to go somewhere but you would think that Flyers management would have done their research better rather than offering long-term contract worth 51 million to an average goaltender! All they had to do was examine his career stats and circumstances. What has Bryzgalov done this year? He has played 40 games and his Save Percentage is not great at .900, his GAA is 2.79 and he has only 2 shutouts. Subsequently, coach Laviolette has had to play Bobrovsky 24 games this year, but he too has been equally “average” and currently has the identical Save Percentage of .900. All said, Snider, Luukko, Clarke and Holmgren are reaping the rewards of stupidity and let them squirm in it! They will suffer even more in the upcoming playoffs unless Bryzgalov is able to conquer his nervousness and play like he did last year in the regular season for the Coyotes.

If you are a Flyer fan, yes, I am aware of the Flyers also obtaining Nicklas Grossman last week from Dallas for Second and Third Round draft picks. They are trying to get the biggest defensemen possible to clear the way for Bryzgalov, but, note that Grossman will also be an unrestricted free agent this summer. It hardly makes sense to give away two high draft picks if you might lose the guy anyway. Flyer management is trying to cover-up for their overwhelming contract mistake with Bryzgalov and they also must feel that this year is their only chance to win the Stanley Cup? Giving away four high draft picks in two trades is sacrificing their future and you can be assured that the Flyers will eventually pay for it big time.

TJ Stanley