As I reported on May 9th, the Tampa Bay Lightning were in need of a goalie for the 2012-2013 season. Well now they will have a good young competition going into training camp as they acquired Anders Lindback from the Nashville Predators late Friday afternoon.
The Lightning sent 2 second round draft picks in next Friday’s NHL Draft, a 2013 third round pick and goalie Sebastian Caron to Nashville. Coming along with Lindback is a 7th round pick next Friday and forward Kyle Wilson.
Lindback has shown signs of potential greatness in Nashville in his limited playing time. He had a .912 save percentage, a 2.42 GAA and had a record of 5-8 while playing in 16 games backing up Pekka Rinne last season. Overall in 38 games with the Predators he had a record of 16-13-2 with a 2.53 GAA and a save percentage of .914.
“We are very pleased to announce this trade today,” VP and GM Steve Yzerman said. “We believe Anders will join the team and give us a nice lift at the goaltending position as we prepare for the 2012-13 season. He has the potential to develop into the No. 1 goaltender we covet.”
For the first time in a long time the Bolts will head into training camp with two young solid goalies who could become their everyday starter. They also have Dustin Tokarski who led their former AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, the the AHL’s Calder Cup Championship.
The Admirals went on an amazing 43-3 run on their road to the championship. The team set a professional hockey record by winning their final 28 games of the regular season. They closed out the playoffs with another 10 wins in a row.
Tampa Bay announced on Thursday that the Syracuse Crunch will be their new AHL affiliate beginning in 2012-2013.
In 2011-2012 Dwayne Roloson became the starter when Mathieu Garon was injured. Roloson went 13-19 in 40 games with a 3.66 GAA and 1 shutout. He is an unrestricted free agent and won’t be back in Tampa.
Garon played 48 games before he got hurt and had a record of 23-20 with a GAA of 2.85 and had one shutout.
Tokarski had a record of 32-11 in 45 games with the Admirals, with a 2.23 GAA and had 5 shutouts. In the post season he posted a stellar record of 12-2 with 3 shutouts and a 1.46 GAA.
Early reports from the Lightning say they are expecting Lindback to be the starter next season and with the draft picks they gave up to get him, he is definitely the front runner for the position. But they can’t ignore what Tokarski accomplished this season in the AHL. If he has a strong training camp Lindback could find himself backing up yet another good young goalie.
The Bolts have a pair of first round draft picks in next Friday’s draft (10th and 19th overall) and have a second round pick remaining as well (40th overall).
Ray Blanchette covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for Outside The Redzone. He also covers NCAA football for the Saturday Blitz. Follow along at www.saturdayblitz.com. Blanchette is the owner of Blanchette Sports Holdings. Follow along with them at www.blanchettesh.elementfx.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100003521034703&sk=wall or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/BlanchettSports