I was a bit surprised earlier this week to hear and see some reaction regarding the trade of goaltender Dustin Tokarski to the Montreal Canadiens.
While the move certainly came unexpectedly, especially after Tokarski was a key cog in helping Tampa Bay's American Hockey League affiliate capture a Calder Cup championship with Norfolk last season, it shouldn't come as a shock.
Tokarski has been a winner everywhere he's played – provincial, junior, national team, minor league – and has proven that he can raise his level of play to match the moment. But while many labeled Tokarski as the answer to Tampa Bay's long-term goaltending issue, is was evident the organization didn't share that feeling moving forward. And last year's showing while Tokarski was up with the Lightning might have been his audition for that, and if so then he didn't handle the spotlight.
Mathieu Garon, who had been playing well and helped get Tampa Bay back into the playoff conversation, went down with a season-ending groin injury. But instead of turning to veteran Dwayne Roloson, who led the Lightning to the Eastern Conference Final the year before, they handed job to the rookie who went 1-3-1.
Tampa Bay Lightning's trade for Desjardins sensible
Tampa Tribune | Feb 17