After picking up defensemen Mike Commodore and Keith Aulie earlier today, Tampa Bay has made one final move to improve on the defensive end of the ice. The Lightning acquired 24-year-old Brian Lee from the Ottawa Senators in return for defender Matt Gilroy.
Lee may have only eight points this season in 35 games, but his size (6’3″, 208 lbs) makes him a valuable option for Tampa Bay. He had been held back somewhat in Ottawa due to the relatively deep unit for the Senators, so this will provide an opportunity to start over in a new city.
Also, the Lightning continue to add youthful defenders in an effort to rebuild a winning lineup. General manager Steve Yzerman made it clear that he intended on shaking up the roster when he shipped off Steve Downie to the Avalanche earlier in the week, and he has done just that.
Tampa Bay is currently the 30th ranked defense in the NHL and 25th on the penalty kill, so they are obviously in need of some help. An important note from this years trade deadline is that the Lightning have been able to hold the vast majority of their offensive components (ranked 11th in league), while building the defense. This could prove to be beneficial down the road.
As for Ottawa, Gilroy arrives with 17 points and a plus two rating in 53 games played. He is a 3-year veteran with time spent with the Rangers, Lightning and now Senators.