I picked Denis, that trade depleted our offense and the fact that Marc Denis isn't even playing hockey anymore says that it just wasn't the situation he was put in. I wouldn't call Smith a bust yet but he is definately borderline at this moment, especially for what we gave up to get him.
Denis by far. He was expected to solve the team's goaltending issues for the foreseeable future and get the team back in contention. Smith was a hope he would develop in to a #1, Tanguay and Vrbata were expected to be second line help not major pieces. I may be going a little far in saying this, but the Denis trade set the franchise back a few years. If he had reached expectations, this franchise is drastically different right now.
Tanguay is trying, but just can't seem to grasp this whole "SHOOT THE ****ING PUCK!" thing. I think if we resign him next year and have a different coach, he will do fine.
Before the trade deadline I would have thought your crazy, no way we resign him. We really would have lost nothing by trading him for anything. Since he didnt go anywhere I dont think there was any league interest in him. So if he likes it here, I think he could be had for dirt cheap. I still doubt we resign him because if we did, it would probably be in the role of a 7th FWD which I doubt he would want to do.
I can dream.. right? haha. I mean I know this is the Lightning and all but I can still hope something positive can happen with this guy.. I am a HUGE Avalanche fan as well (I used to follow them a lot until I moved to Tampa, then I actually had a "real" hockey team to root for, **** the Bruins (lived in MA) and Trashers (lived in GA).. but Colorado is still up there on my list) and I always liked Tanguay up in Denver, and when he got traded, I was devastated just like he was. I always had high hopes for the guy and I think he can get back there.. I really think that if we had the right coach who would put the right guys on the right lines, this team would be AMAZING..
Next year, if Tanguay is back, I think we need the French Connection. I dont get why Toc never stayed with this. Marty can make any paring look good. Look what Marty did for Prospal and Lecavalier... I think that Stammer can stand on his own now with Malone helping him down on the 2nd line. I know it would be tough to take Marty from Stammer but Vinny needs Marty more.. and the new French Connection could be so sick WITH THE RIGHT COACHING.. not Toc cause he's a retard.
Another thing. With Tanguay being such a passer, why doesnt he end up playing with someone like Stammer. Tanguay was at his best when playing with Foppa/Sakic (amazing all around) and Hejduk (someone who can shoot). It's almost like we could have the same thing with Stammer (playing Hejduk) and Marty (playing Foppa).
I think a lines like
Tanguay - Stammer/Vinny - Marty
Downie - Vinny/Stammer - Malone
would be awesome. We just need a coach.
I'm also surprised to see Smith on the list. He didn't really have a whole lot of hype attached to him coming in. His good play was sort of unexpected.
In hindsight, I don't think the concussions have had a whole lot to do with it. It just wasn't as apparent last year, as the expectations were low, but Smith is not clutch. He's not a bad goalie by any stretch, but he's not a guy I think the Lightning could win the cup with.
The amount of late goals he gave up in the games before Niitty took the helm is indicative of his lack of clutch. As soon as something is on the line, he can't step up. It's the same as it was when he was playing 'great', but the shots he should have stopped, were being blamed on Marek Malik.
I think we all thought Melrose was at least a boom/bust situation.
Only thing that makes the Denis trade not sting as much was that Freddy never did much in CBJ because of injuries. Denis was ****ing terrible. I liked Holmqvist for the sole reason he gave us a reason to bench Denis. Torts was about ready to tear Denis' head off at one point or another.