NHL Trade Deadline: GM Brian Lawton Has Failed Tampa Bay Lightning Again

JC De La TorreAnalyst IIIMarch 4, 2010

MONTREAL - JUNE 26:  Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton of the Tampa Bay Lightning speaks from the podium during the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft at the Bell Centre on June 26, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

On a day where Jefferey Vinik secured final approval as the new owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, his new hockey team entered the trade deadline needing help along the blue-line, mainly a puck moving defenseman, and a scoring winger for Vincent Lecavalier.

It left after the deadline needing help on the blue-line, a scoring winger for Vinny, and a third line forward to replace the veteran leadership of Jeff Halpern.

Brian Lawton failed to pull off a deal to help his hockey club in it's run at the playoffs. Anyone watching Tampa Bay fall apart in the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers the other night knows the Lightning needed defensive help.

Lecavalier came out with a renewed passion, banging, fightning for the puck and playing the hardest we've seen him play in some time. Still, he had no one that could deliver him the puck, nor put it in when he gave it to them.

Two glaring weaknesses that were obvious.

Lawton traded Halpern for a guy who's success came in the AHL and in 91 games with the big league managed nine goals and 25 points total.

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This is the guy who Lawton brought in to help Lecavalier.

Who knows, Teddy Purcell could be a diamond in the rough that catches fire with Vinny like Marty St. Louis did so many years ago, but Brian Lawton is feeding us a bunch of malarkey when he says no deals were out there to be made.

"We could have added a few players, but the requests were outlandish." Lawton told the Tampa Tribune .

Freddie Modin for future considerations is outlandish?

Wojtek Wolski for two minor leaguers was too much?

Some how, the best team in the Eastern conference, the Washington Capitals, managed to add three defensemen while surrendering just one player from the current roster.

Even Edmonton and Calgary buried the hatchet for a few minutes to consummate a deal for defenseman Steve Staios.

Yet Lawton failed to make a deal.

Perhaps Tampa sports radio host Steve Duemig is right when he told his listeners, "Other GM's in the league describe Lawton with an 'f' and a 'c'."

Use your own imagination as to what those letters could stand for. There's none needed to understand that Lawton's pretentious attitude has won him no friends outside the organization and has created enemies within.

Perhaps the hatred between the general manager and head coach is a reason behind Lawton's inactivity. Maybe he wants Tocchet to fail as head coach so he can put his own yes man behind the bench.

Maybe in his arrogance Lawton failed to realize that Jeff Vinik is no dummy. He can see right through bull and evaluate how things are trending. It's how Vinik became wealthy enough to pay cash for an NHL hockey team.

Whether it's due to his haughty over confidence or his inept ability to do his job, Lawton may have signed his walking papers with his inability to help this team make the playoffs.

Vinik may even tire of the melodrama and fire the lot of them.

Who could blame him?


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