Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Mailbag: Dumbest Lightning lessons, blockbuster trades, and giving Gary Bettman a truth serum

Welcome to the offseason, that wonderful time of year when you have to publish everything you write immediately because otherwise it’s completely out of date and everyone laughs at you. We’ve already had a Duncan Keith trade, a Pierre McGuire hiring and Bill Guerin throwing a buyout at anyone who looks at him funny. And it’s only Wednesday morning. Let’s see what was on your minds this week…

Note: Submitted questions have been edited for clarity and style.

It’s no secret that the NHL is a copycat league. But GMs are dumb and sometimes copy the wrong thing. What are the absolutely 100% wrong lessons other GMs will take from the Lightning’s repeat championship? – Matt Z.

This is a fun one. I think the obvious answer is “Put your best player on the LTIR all season long, on the assumption that you’ll easily make the playoffs anyway”, and yeah, you could see current GMs torpedoing themselves with that one.

But we have other options. For example: Be sure to have a backup goalie who you would not trust to play even one minute of the postseason. Always trade up one single pick in the third round to make sure you get your guy. Let your captain test free agency whenever his contract is up. Encourage your GM to quit right before training camp. And of course, remember that even if you’re stacked with more talent than any other team in the league, your third line are somehow the most important players you have.

Wait, I think today’s GMs really will go for that last one.

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