Tampa Bay finished the season strong this year...so strong they played themselves out of a lottery pick. They also played so bad this year that they finished 6th worst in the league and watched their head coach and GM get the axe. Now there's word that Martin St. Louis might want out...or atleast he wants to win now. You can read his comments in a story that Jonathan Willis wrote here. And click to read on about why Tbay might make a good trading partner for the Oil.
(picture courtesy Dirk Shad-TampaBay.com)
The Bolts are scheduled to pick 6th overall this June. But if they want to make St. Louis happy - in my opinion it would be wise after he helped Steven Stamkos reach 51 goals this year - then they should consider using that pick to push them towards the playoffs immediately. Along with St. Louis and Stamkos, Tampa has a nice mix of veteran forwards like Vincent Lecavalier who with some depth might rebound from 2 sub par seasons, and Victor Hedman who had a respectable rookie season on the blueline.
Tampa also has cap room with only Alex Tanguay and Antero Niittymaki as top level UFA's and a handful of RFA's to qualify. Could they use a tough defenceman with a booming slap shot and/or a speedy winger? Maybe a package that includes Tampa's first round pick and a player like Teddy Purcel who fits the Oilers wish list of a big winger who has scored a lot in the AHL and might fit in well with the re build in Edmonton. If so then Steve Tambellini should be the first in line when the Bolts hire a new G.M. St. Louis' contract runs out after next year, but he might stay in the sunshine state if he sees the team is committed to winning now.
What are your thoughts?