So the Lightning just got a bit stronger up front. With a top six forward corps that - for now - includes Vincent Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone, longtime Flyer Simon Gagne, and whomever plays their way onto the second starboard spot, the Bolts aren't waiting around for draft picks to blossom.
Given their management model from the past two seasons, that's probably a wise decision.
In any event, the Panthers have stuck to their guns in recent days, laying rather low and keeping off the national radar. Undoubtedly they had interest in Gagne - who wouldn't, especially when your left side is pancake thin behind the first line - but a no-trade clause tends to, theoretically, work against this franchise. They won't all share McCabe-style enthusiasm for the market (or was that simply a case of escaping another?).
So, on to the expected poll...
Does Tampa Bay's acquisition of Gagne make a Florida deal for a top-six forward (or two) imperative?
Yes...rebuild or not, the Panthers must still ice a capable club in an increasingly competitive division (78 votes)
No...stay the course and build from within; panic moves only cause trouble down the road (67 votes)
Who cares...the Bolts have no "D" (22 votes)
167 total votes