Playoffs or not, the Tampa Bay Lightning needs to add a solid defenseman to its blueline. Struggles in front of their own net have been a common theme in Tampa for quite some time.
While their issues are not solely on defense, this is an issue that will need to be fixed sooner or later and Lightning GM Steve Yzerman might consider making a move at the trade deadline.
"I think that they're going to try and trade for a defenseman whether they're in a playoff spot or not," TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun said Tuesday evening on the 'Insider Trading' segment on TSN. "This is a bigger picture need for Steve Yzerman and Tampa, it's really been their Achilles' Heel over the last year and a half.
"Whether it's something like Kevin Shattenkirk when he goes on the market for real, or a younger defenseman. You know, Anaheim has a million of them, if they decide to auction one off, I would look for Tampa to at least inquire."
It was reported that Yzerman was watching the Ducks play the Florida Panthers in Sunrise last Friday. Anaheim is more than stacked on their blueline, with even more talent coming up from the AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls.
Cam Fowler has more than proved his keep. Hampus Lindholm is not going anywhere any time soon, but names like Sami Vatanen, Brandon Montour, Shea Theodore and Josh Manson fit that mold.