NHL Trade Rumors: Tampa Bay Lightning Still Looking to Make Moves

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 25, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: Steve Yzerman of teh Tampa Bay Lightning works the draft floor during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has shown us that he's not afraid to make moves, and he may not be done just yet.

Will the Bolts try to make a move in order to try for a playoff run, or will they continue building and stocking up for the future?

That has to be the question on the minds of Lightning fans, and I would imagine that it's something Yzerman is truly pondering himself.

If the season were to end right now, the Lightning would be on the outside looking in. They are currently behind the Capitals, Maple Leafs and Sabres for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference—currently held by the Florida Panthers—and seven points behind the division-leading Winnipeg Jets.

To be frank, the Lightning's playoffs hopes are slim, and they grow smaller every day.

It seemed like Yzerman was hanging up those hopes when he traded away Dominic Moore, Pavel Kubina and Steve Downie for draft picks, and according to Erik Erledsson of The Tampa Tribune, the Lightning may not be done making moves:

On the ice, the team pushed the season back in their favor against the odds by winning the next three games to pull back into the playoff conversation. But after dropping a crucial contest in Winnipeg on Thursday that pushed the deficit to six points out of a playoff spot with 22 games remaining, more changes could occur in advance of Monday's trade deadline.

"It could, and that's the thing we are walking on thin ice right now,'' said center Steven Stamkos, who enters Saturday's matinee tied with Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for the league lead with 73 points.

The Lighting are indeed skating on thin ice right now, as the margin for error has become slim to none.

WINNIPEG, CANADA - DECEMBER 22: Antti Miettinen #20 of the Winnipeg Jets warms up on the ice before a game against the Montreal Canadiens in NHL action at the MTS Centre on December 22, 2011 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. (Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Ima
Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Erledsson's report does state that forward Antti Miettinen may be a name the Bolts look at. The Jets placed him on waivers, and Tampa Bay will have first rights because they originally lost him on waivers, but is how much is he really going to help?

It comes down to a question of belief, and if the recent trades suggest anything, the Lightning may be more concerned with building for the future than they are with going all out for a playoff run.

Either way, the Lightning may not be done making splashes.


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