Commentary

Front line? Elite. Blue line? Yikes.

If Steve Yzerman is going to be a success in Tampa, he needs help on D

Originally Published: June 16, 2010
By Richard Pollock and E.J. Hradek | Puck Prospectus and ESPN The Magazine
Thomas KaberleAbelimages/Getty ImagesKaberle would be a nice fit in Tampa, and he also fits Yzerman's Detroit-based sensibilities.

Plugging Holes -- Tampa Bay Lightning

The Hole: Defense

Steve Yzerman was thought to be the best "free-agent" front office executive on the market. With a new owner in Jeff Vinik, the Tampa Bay Lightning courted the architect of the 2010 Canadian men's Olympic team and succeeded in their pursuit. Yzerman will be well compensated, and that is a good thing for Stevie Y, because he sure has a lot of work ahead of him.

This squad does not lack for holes this offseason, but the biggest hole is on defense. With Vincent Lecavalier (a quiet 19 even-strength goals last season), Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos (51 goals, 21.2 GVT last season) up front, the Bolts will be able to create some offense. The back end, however, is a different story.


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E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.