Tampa Bay Lightning: The Bolts Get Their Goalie of the Future
Two days ago, I wrote a story that talked about some young goalies that general manger Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning might be looking to acquire.
I focused most of the story on G Jonathan Bernier of the Los Angeles Kings, but I also mentioned two other young goalies. They were Brian Elliot of the St. Louis Blues and Anders Lindback of the Nashville Predators.
I said I thought Nashville would be a good trading partner because they didn't have a pick until the third round of the draft, which starts less than a week from now.
Well, Yzerman pulled the trigger on a trade yesterday to get one of those young goalies, and it wasn't Bernier, it was Lindback instead.
The Bolts gave up two second-round picks (37th and 50th overall) in this year's draft, a third-round pick in 2013 and the rights to goaltender Sebastien Caron to acquire Lindback, along with right wing Kyle Wilson and a seventh-round pick in next week's entry draft.
"He'll get an opportunity to play for us, and we think he's got the ability to develop into a No. 1 goaltender," Yzerman said. "We've watched a lot of his games. He doesn't have a lot of experience, but we like his size, we like his athletic ability and we like his technique.
"We paid a heavy price to acquire him. There are not a lot of options out there to get a goaltender right now. So, we had to step up with something significant to bring him in, and we were prepared to do that."
Lindback has limited NHL experience as Yzerman noted, but on the surface looks to have a great future. So far in the NHL, Lindback is 16-13-2, two shutouts, cumulative .914 save percentage and a cumulative 2.53 goals against average.
Lindback, who is just 24 years old, also has great size, as he is 6'6".
Lindback is also thrilled to be a new member of the Bolts, where he get to join fellow Swede D Victor Hedman.
"I'm very excited to now be with the Tampa Bay Lightning. I had some great years with Nashville, but I was in a tough spot behind Pekka Rinne. My dream all my life has been to be a No. 1 goalie in the NHL, and I think I have a great opportunity to be that in Tampa Bay."
Lindback also likes the talent that will be surrounding him on the Bolts.
"Obviously, having Steven Stamkos, Vinny and Marty on your team is exciting for anyone", Lindback said. "It's the kind of team I want to be a part of and excited to have this new opportunity ahead of me.''
Yzerman feels the search for a new goalie is over.
Yzerman and his staff looked long and hard to find the right fit at goaltender. Lindback turned out to be the player they were looking for.
"The big thing you first notice is his size,'' Yzerman said. "We like the way he moves. I like his athleticism. He reacts well. I think he has good, solid technique and an all-around structure.''
"We do our best to research everything; to check around the league,'' Yzerman said. "We had an opportunity present itself with Anders, and we wanted him. We believe there were other teams in consideration for Anders."
Yzerman has now accomplished his number one priority, which was finding the goalie of the future and hopefully the present as well.
Priority number two is finding some defensive help and then also adding some depth to the lines.
The Lightning still has two first-round picks, Nos. 10 and 19 overall that can be used to get a quality defenseman, either via the draft or by trade.
But step number one has been taken care of with the acquisition of Lindback. Yzerman isn't done by any means either in his quest to get the Bolts closer to another Stanley Cup run.
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