Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rumbles From Bolts Country

Scanning my morning news, I came across this piece of miscellany.

Apparently, the Lightning have asked a local radio broadcaster to do an embedded broadcast with them from Montreal. Not news we're concerned with here in Montreal, surely. But as we're into reading the tea leaves a bit lately, it's what this request means, specifically regarding a Lightning trade, that caught my eye.

Seeing as life in Tampa must be as quiet or quieter for real news than here, the speculation around this announcement was disproportionate.

The broadcaster himself, Steve Duernig, took the invite to mean that nothing was afoot.

One blogger, Joe Bolts Fan, thought the announcement and its timing suggested that the opposite might be the case, that the Lightning would complete a trade for their number 2 selection – perhaps only to assure themselves of Hedman, though.

Jpfdeuce of Raw Charge (my original landing point) goes further. He likes the speculation about a trade being in the works. He doesn't limit this trade to a #2 for #1 swap, but drops Lecavalier's name in there as well:
But what about the fact the team has put Tampa Bay's sports-talk radio "Dean" into their good graces and encouraged him to join the party in Montreal? Doesn't this suggest that, if something does happen regarding the #2 pick or Vincent Lecavalier, Duemig is going to get an excess of access to the what's, how's and why's by the Lightning to explain it all? We-scratch-your-back, you-scratch-ours kind of favoritism?

If Lecavalier is being bandied about the league, then Gainey is sure to be in the loop (thus this is Habs news). If the Lightning want to trade their pick, I hope Gainey is in the game there too. If we come out of this draft with Hedman, Tavares, Lecavalier or even St Louis, I think all the talk about Louis Leblanc being overlooked will quickly fade to black.

I know a massive stretch of the imagination based on the source. But in these times of imaginary news, signing and drafts, surely this is within bounds.

The reality is the Lightning would be foolish to close their ears to deals today, leading up to or at the draft. Nothing has been pre-deigned as of this point. If a deal had been hashed out, the GMs would have announced it. Any deal is open and any deal could happen.

At the same time, the perceived constraints on deals are all still there: salary struture, future cap, etc., etc.

Asking a talk radio man to accompany the Lightning scouts to Montreal does nothing to change all of that.

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