Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune has been all over Brian Rolston's impending free agency from the Minnesota Wild: Reporting that Rolston intended to test the market as a UFA, before updated his blog with the rather stunning news that Rolston's rights may have been traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. As of 9:03 p.m., the NHL hadn't approved the trade. Less than an hour later came this update:
9:57 pm update: OK, here’s the best it’s been decribed to me. Rolston’s rights were traded to Tampa Bay for a third in 2010. However, if the Ryan Malone contract is approved as expected, the pick becomes the 2009 fourth round pick Tampa traded to Pittsburgh.
HOWEVER, if Rolston signs there, that fourth becomes a third again — either San Jose’s third-round pick in 2009 that Tampa Bay owns or Tampa Bay’s third in 2010 — at the Wild’s option.
St. Pete Times writer Damian Cristodero, who reports that Ryan Malone (a seven-year, $31.5-million contract) and Gary Roberts ($1.2-million contract, with incentives that could raise it to $2 million) could be announced as new Bolts by Monday, has a bit more on Rolston's trade to Tampa.
Should co-owner Oren Koules talk him into signing with the Lightning, Rolston will be an asset on the penalty kill (18th in the NHL last season) but one would assume he'd have to play center for a team that suddenly has a left-wing log jam with the additions of Malone, Roberts and Vaclav Prospal. Not a problem for Rolston; wonder if they'd put him at the point with Dan Boyle on the power play?
The bottom line is this: Rolston wants to test the market, and could find a situation where he'd be a top-line player next season rather than a contributor in Tampa Bay. If the Bolts find a way to get him into the fold ... well, after Malone and Roberts and potentially Rolston, let's just go ahead and add this to the Puck Daddy glossary: Drinking the Koules-Aid.
Also tonight: TSN is reporting the Edmonton Oilers have acquired defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Jarret Stoll and defenseman Matt Greene. A good trade for both teams? The hell's that about? Also, John-Michael Liles and Adam Foote have resigned with Colorado.