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My first reaction:

SY traded away on Carter Ashton?????

Ok, now that this day is over with, I've had some time to think and gather my thoughts on how the Lightning fared today. There were only three trades and they were all to acquire defencemen.

The trades:

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Conditional 7th round pick in 2013 to the Red Wings for D Mike Commodore

I think the trade for Commodore is just to help our defense finish off the year since Hedman is out with injury again. Commodore is a UFA this summer and I don't think Yzerman has an intention on giving Commodore a contract past this season.

No idea on what the condition on the 2013 pick is

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F Carter Ashton to the Leafs for D Keith Aulie

I can see why he traded for Keith Aulie, but really, in exchange for Carter Ashton? Egads. Ashton was our 2009 1st round pick that I heard was playing well in his first full season with Norfolk. Aulie came to Toronto from Calgary in the Dion Phaneuf trade and played for Guy Boucher in the world juniors in Ottawa. Aulie played 6-foot-6, 217 pounds, has played in 17 games with the Maple Leafs this season and 23 games with the Marlies.

The PPP says he was traded because Keith Aulie is "not being very good at defence". Awesome. But then again, our defence is not very good at defence. So in an effort to get better, with time and patience this trade could work out in the long run. As with Hedman, defencemen just need time to mature.

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D Matt Gilroy to the Senators for D Brian Lee

Gilroy's first season with the Lightning turns out to be a one year thing and this 2009 Hobey Baker winner is on his way to another team in exchange for the younger, Brian Lee. He's an RFA this season, 24 and making $875,000. He was not loved in Ottawa because he didn't live up to the expectations with the other players drafted near him in his draft class, which were Marc Staal or Anze Kopitar and Marc Staal or Anzer Kopitar he is not. But with our low expectations and jobs aplenty in Tampa, Lee might stand a chance here.


So there you have it. Three more trades to add to the departure of Moore, Kubina and Downie for draft picks.

Today it felt like the Lightning changed up their defence but not for players that make me feel like we improved our defence at all. I feel kind of empty from today's trades and want to ask how this makes our defence better? Aulie and Lee have potential but there's still lots of work to do to improve our defence.