Lightning Rob Sharks in Dan Boyle Trade, Get It Wrong Elsewhere

Josh LewisSenior Analyst IJuly 4, 2008

So, the Tampa Bay Lightning shipped defenseman Dan Boyle to the San Jose Sharks and got a heck of a package in return.

Young puckmoving defenseman Matt Carle and a first round pick are heading to the Bolts, along with prospect Ty Wishart and a fourth round pick.

Boyle is one of the more overrated players in the league, and his contract ($6.67 million a year for the next five years) makes Bryan McCabe look like a bargain wrapped in shiny blue paper.

So the Lightning makeover takes a huge step forward, while Doug Wilson's reputation as a general manager takes a big hit.

Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, the trade is one of the only smart moves they've made this summer. The only others were having Steve Stamkos fall into their laps and signing Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts.

The Lightning are making the same mistakes that landed them in this position in the first place. Once again, Jay Feaster, possibly the most overrated general manager in the entire league, is trying to build his team around offense.

"Goaltending? Defense? Nah, we don't need that. We have Lecavalier, St-Louis, and Stamkos! Who can beat us? We're the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s!"

Earth to Jay! The Oilers had Grant Fuhr in net, along with Kevin Lowe, Charlie Huddy, and Randy Gregg on the blueline.

Paul Coffey couldn't play a lick of defense and neither can Dan Boyle. That's where the similarities end.

"Well, we won the Cup with Lecavalier and St-Louis. So there!"

Jay, you also had a guy named Khabibulin in the net, and then you let him go to keep your precious forwards that landed you in last place.

In the last week, Tampa Bay has signed a plethora of wingers: Malone, Roberts, Vaclav Prospal, Radim Vrbata, Adam Hall, and the list goes on.

On the team's website, the intro says that they have "players to excite us" and nine of the 10 players listed are forwards.

The other one is goalie Olaf Kolzig, who was signed on July 1. Now, I love Olie, but he doesn't do a thing to help this team move forward. If anything, he puts them five points out of the playoffs instead of 15 points out.

All that does is give Tampa a lower draft pick and set back the rebuild.

Oh, I forgot. They're not rebuilding.

So, we've looked at the forwards and goaltender brought in during the offseason. Now let's talk about the NHL defensemen added by Tampa Bay through free agency.

Um...That's right. Not a single defenseman.

Tampa Bay spent more than $14 million per season to bring in their shiny new forwards, and that's on top of the big pay cheques given to Lecavalier and St-Louis. That's $5 million more than they are spending on their entire blueline.

Yes, Carle and Paul Ranger are good building blocks, but beyond them there isn't much here. When Kolzig retires in another year or two, this team will be right back where it started.

Scoring four goals a game, giving up six, and finishing 15th in the Eastern Conference. Even Steve Stamkos isn't going to change that.