FAF: Wrap Up

TampaBayLogoNew.jpg image by DaveLikeGolf

The Bolts made two huge pick ups during the initial flurry of the free agent signing period. GM Brian Lawton ponied up and signed stud defenseman Mattias Ohland, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks. The Swede bolsters a blue line in which about 20 different players played the position for the team last year. More importantly, he will serve as a mentor to fellow Swede Viktor Hedman, the draft’s 2nd overall pick.

A 7 year contract seems a bit excessive for a player with injury problems and 33 come October, but he is a proven talent- and any talent is better than the disaster of a defense we had last year.

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In addition, Lawton added defenseman Matt Walker, formerly of the Chicago Blackhawks. He is solid and tough. You won’t see his name on the score sheet too often, but the Bolts have plenty of firepower for now. If we can work on the transition game, the Lightning could once again return to competitive prowess.

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These two moves, as well as bringing back Lukas Krajicek all of the sudden remove the liability tag from the D. If Mike Smith recovers from his concussion, I think we could be in the running for a lower seed in the playoffs. I don’t expect the Lightning to make a big splash from now until the beginning of the season. We are still lacking a back up goalie, and that’s probably the only major move that needs to happen.

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