Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Lightning Card of The Week -Tik Toc The PC is

So much red in this card.
2008-09 ITG Between the Pipes Future Stars Dustin Tokarski #15

Well, it looks like another personal collection bites the dust.  I woke up to the news on Twitter that the Lightning had traded goaltending prospect Dustin Tokarski to the Montreal Canadians for Cedric Desjardins - the once and future Tampa Bay net minder.  Not exactly the type of news I wanted to see at the crack of 9:30am (hey I worked till 1:30 last night).

Most people have no idea of who either of those players are, heck to most hockey fans it's a minor league deal involving a couple of at-best back-up goaltenders.  For me, however, it's yet another waste of eBay money and trades.  I have a small (about 20 cards) collection for the former 5th round pick, but unlike my other PC's this one was speckled with some higher-end cards.  That's the joy of collecting a prospect for a sunbelt team, I guess. It's easy to pick up decent cards for rather cheap prices.

It's funny, when a favorite player is traded it feels like their career is ending.  With Tokarski that's hardy the case. At only 23-years-old he definitely has more than enough time to establish himself as a NHL-caliber goalie. For some reason his progress in Tampa has stalled.  He had been usurped in the organizational rankings by Jaroslav Janus and Russian prospect Andrey Vasilevskiy and his inconsistent play seem to frustrate management.  General Manager Steve Yzerman alluded to the fact that it was time for a scenery change for Tokarski when discussing the move with the press.

It also appears that Mr. Yzerman wasn't comfortable with either Janus or Tokarski as an option should the Lightning need them this season.  Despite having less actual game experience in the NHL than Tokarski (2 games to 3) his age and experience lend to Desjardins an edge should the big league club need him.  There is also the fact that Coach Boucher is familiar with the 27-year-old from his days in Hamilton.

I don't follow the minor leagues much, but it seems Syracuse was struggling with getting consistency in the net (seems to be an organizational problem) and this move will hopefully shore that up. That Crunch seem to be a team in flux especially with all of the recent call prospect call ups.

Hopefully, the storyline stays in Syracuse as that means all is well between the pipes in Tampa.  As for Tokarski it is a chance for him to start over in a new organization (although one where he is stuck behind a  guy named Carey Price). Wherever he has gone he has won, from juniors to the national team to the AHL.  We'll see if that continues.

As for my collection, I think I'll hold on to it for now (unless, of course, some Canadians collector comes along with an offer I can't refuse) and maybe add the occasional Tampa-clad card to it.  I doubt I'll replace him with another player in the personal collection folder, especially since I won't be able to get my hands on any Cory Conacher Lightning cards until next season.


Captain Canuck said...

Desjardins was marked for backup duty in Montreal next year after last year's perfromance, and current backup Peter Budaj's expiring contract.
But his play this year, and the fact that he's an RFA led to Montreal looking elsewhere.

If Dustin can play well enough in Hamilton, he'll earn clip board duty for the Habs next season.

I hope he can do it... I really enjoyed watching Tokarski play for Canada.

Captain Canuck said...

I meant UFA for Desjardins.... not RFA.