It was a busy day for Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman, making three trades that resulted in moving one of the teams most popular players on and off the ice.
It all started with the mid-afternoon announcement that the Lightning had traded forward Steve Downie to Colorado in exchange for defenseman Kyle Quincy. Then came the news that Steve Yzerman was able to to trade Quincy to Detroit for a first round draft pick and prospect Sebastien Piche.
It is a move that was likely not popular with many around the Tampa Bay Lightning fan base, but getting a first round pick back give the Lightning even more options moving forward, whether that means trading for a goalie in the summer, or using all of the picks to replenish the depth in the organization.
For Steve Yzerman, even though he understands how this move could be viewed as unpopular, it is more about putting a team together that can compete for the Stanley Cup, and that starts through the draft.
“My goal is to win a Stanley Cup,” Yzerman said. “I think we have to do some tough things, some difficult things along the way to do that. We need young players. I have said we need to draft well, we need to build that way. This was an opportunity to take advantage of that and acquite more picks, and relatively high picks so that decision was made. The message it sends to our players is that I want to win a Stanley Cup and I am going to do what I have to do to win a Stanley Cup.”
Yzerman never made any secrets when he became General Manager of the Lightning that this was a process, and even with the success at the end of last season, that has not changed. That is why the news of the past week is not all bad for the Lightning. Even with the trades, the Lightning now have the opportunity to go out and possibly get a goaltender through at the draft. He now has the pieces in place to possible make that move if it is there for him.
Shortly after the Downie move was announced, the Lightning announced another minor trade, acquiring Brandon Segal from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward prospect Matt Fornatero. It is not Segal’s first stint with the Lightning organization, as he played two games with the big club back in the 2008-09 season. Segal will be assigned to Norfolk of the American Hockey League.
In 28 games for Rockford of the AHL, Segal had 13 goals and 23 points.