Lightning rebuild already underway for Yzerman

15 Comments

After missing the postseason two years in a row, you’d be able to guess the pressure on GM Steve Yzerman to fix things is pretty high. Lightning fans can take heart that the effort to fix things up in Tampa is well underway.

Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune hears from the Lightning GM about what’s happening with the Bolts.

“Our group will change, how dramatically I’m not prepared to say yet, but we’ll explore options as far as improving the areas we feel need to be addressed,” Yzerman said. “We have players coming up from Syracuse (of the American Hockey League) next year that will have an opportunity to make this team. So, things will be different; they need to be different.”

Those kids from Syracuse (Alex Killorn, Richard Panik, Tyler Johnson, Radko Gudas) got a healthy look at life in the pros this season thanks to various injuries. Firing Guy Boucher and dealing one of those youngsters in Cory Conacher to Ottawa for Ben Bishop helped change the look in goal as well.

Further rebuilding will likely have to come via trade. According to CapGeek, they’ve got nearly $61 million committed to 17 players next season and with a $64.3 million cap, Yzerman’s got some work ahead of him.