Steve Yzerman 2

Yzerman quells Luongo-to-Tampa rumor, says he’ll get goalie through draft or free agency


Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman appeared on 620 WDAE “The Sports Animal” this morning to discuss his offseason scouting and the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

Also, Tampa Bay’s troublesome goaltending situation.

With Dwayne Roloson and Sebastien Caron set to become UFAs on July 1 and Mathieu Garon’s deal expiring next season, Yzerman told the station that one of his main priorities is finding a goalie for his club — but it might not be via trade as many have speculated.

Also, he might not be in a rush to make a splash.

The transcript:

Q: What is your theory about going out and getting a goalie? Are you looking at older veterans like Roloson, or do you think you have to go another way and get a really big-name, elite, top franchise goaltender like a Roberto Luongo or someone like that?

Yzerman: I think everybody’s trying to find somebody that’s an elite guy — I would say there’s probably five or six elite goaltenders in the league and then there’s a group of good goaltenders, and then there’s a group of teams searching for that guy to lock up and not worry about for the present and the future.

My philosophy is I’m trying to find that Hall of Fame goaltender. But good luck trying to do that, it takes time. We’ll find that guy through the draft or unrestricted free agency — that guy isn’t there at this time.

Keep in mind this could be posturing from the Tampa GM, as there’s no advantage to be gained by publicly stating his desire to get a player (he’d all but kiss his negotiating leverage goodbye.)

Yzerman’s ideal goalie is a younger, more long-term investment than the 33-year-old Luongo…but getting one might not be a realistic expectation.

“Obviously I’d love to have a 20-year-old [version] of Martin Brodeur and not worry about goaltending for the next 20 years,” Yzerman said. “But that’s hard to do.”


Tampa Bay’s goalie search has a decidedly European feel

PHT List: 10 reasons Luongo could end up in Tampa Bay

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.