The Tampa Bay Lightning have gone 4-13-1 since February 1, so it’s reasonable that some think GM Steve Yzerman should make a big trade or two.
If he does, Yzerman told ESPN that he’ll have the future in mind in more ways than one, which means he doesn’t want to acquire a player with an expiring contract (aka a “rental” player).
“Rental players cost you draft picks or young players, we’re not interested in that,” Yzerman said. “That’s why we signed free agents in the summer, to fill those places. If there’s a trade that makes sense where a team has a need and we have a need, then it would be addressed that way.”
(As you can see from their Cap Geek page, the Bolts have plenty of players locked up beyond this season, including guys who could feasibly be traded, such as Ryan Malone.)
Yzerman admits that he hasn’t been happy with the way things have gone, but he notes the team’s upcoming schedule is lighter. There aren’t many back-to-backs, which can submarine fringe squads like the Lightning.
Even if he didn’t seem so optimistic, Yzerman indicates that there might not have been any opportunities to make a big splash, anyway.
“To sit here and say, ‘I’m going to do something big,’ there’s nothing big that can be done at this time,” Yzerman said. “It’s not like we just sit here and do nothing all day. You talk to people, you see if there’s anything that makes sense. For a lot of reasons it’s difficult to find a fit, to find the right players, the right salaries to make a trade. You don’t just do something to do it.”