March 6, 2009

Worst trade of the year?

The Worst Trade This Year

I'd say that this is a pretty fair assessment. A little on the pessimistic side, perhaps. But fair.

I mean, I'm not at all happy with the way things have gone with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the current management/ownership have learned. Unfortunately, they're the types that have to learn things the hard way, and trial by fire is usually a pretty messy way to go. Still, they did figure out to leave the team alone. It might've taken them half a season, but they did get there.

Well, up until the trade deadline, of course. Then they went back to their previous ways. I haven't decided if any of that was actually Lawton's fault or not, tho. I'm thinking it was all Barrie, but that might just be because I don't think very highly of him. It seems right to me, tho, that he'd step in when things got interesting so he could play GM, and then let Lawton do all the grunt work the rest of the time.

I think it might take another two to four years of trial and error, but this administrative group should be alright. Eventually. Unless the GM gets replaced a time or two before then - since that would indicate that the owners aren't taking any responsibility for the problems they've created and are instead blaming others. And that could set things back. Way back.

No - the real question is whether or not the fans will wait around that long. One season of wackiness is one thing. Making it seemingly a lifestyle choice is entirely another. Sports fans are a fickle lot (I should know), and not a group known for their patience. Another season like this one, and the Lightning may not have any fans left. At least, not ones going to games.

I wonder if Vegas has the odds on if there will still be an NHL team in Tampa in five years.

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