NHL Trade Deadline Deal: Lightning Bring Leadership, Skill With Eric Brewer

JC De La TorreAnalyst IIIFebruary 18, 2011

Eric Brewer looks to help the Lightning blue line
Eric Brewer looks to help the Lightning blue lineJoel Auerbach/Getty Images

As he has so many times this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning general manager looked to strengthen his hockey club for a possible run at the Stanley Cup.

He knew he didn't want to give up a high draft pick or a top line prospect. But to get quality without those keys, while not taking away a piece from your big club, is hard to do.

Some how, "Stevie Y" pulled it off.

Yzerman traded for St. Louis Blues captain, Olympic Gold Medalist, and 2003 All Star defenseman Eric Brewer in exchange for a third round draft pick in 2011 and unsigned prospect Brock Beukeboom, whom the Lightning drafted in the third round of this year's NHL draft.

The 31-year-old Brewer had to waive his no-trade clause, which he happily did. Brewer is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $4.25 million dollars, which the Lightning will take a cap hit of $1.1 million (according to capgeek.com)

“We are pleased to welcome Eric to the Lightning organization,” Yzerman said upon making the announcement.  “He is an outstanding veteran who will help solidify our defense as we move toward the end of the regular season.”

Brewer, 6' 3", 220 pounds, is a veteran of 12 NHL seasons, appearing in a total of 736 games with the Blues, Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders. He has amassed 64 goals, 144 assists and 208 points for his career.

Playing for a Blues team that was well out of the playoff picture, he played 54 games this season, tied a career-high with eight goals, ranked first among team defensemen and also recorded 14 points. He led the team in average ice time per game with 22:14. Brewer is also a +1 in plus/minus.

Brewer brings a big, physical force in front of the Lightning's net that they so desperately needed.

The Lightning hope he can provide some stability in a defense that has allowed the most goals of any of the playoff contending teams.

Portions of this article contain quotes from the Tampa Bay Lightning's official press release.