Eric Brewer Trade Made Sense For Tampa Bay Lightning


Oct 14, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman

Eric Brewer

(2) against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Trading Eric Brewer to the Anaheim Ducks just made too much sense for Steve Yzerman to pass on.

With Victor Hedman set to return to the line-up, and with Mark Barberio and Andrej Sustr needing regular playing time as they continue to have bigger roles on the blue line, moving Brewer was a logical choice.

It also helps that they managed to grab a third round draft pick in 2015 for a 35-year-old defenceman who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

In 17 games this year, Brewer had four assists and 18 penalty minutes.

The Lightning was carrying eight defenceman at the start of the season but when Hedman went down injured, that number dropped to seven. However, the Bolts regularly scratched a d-man to go with 12 forwards. Brewer was a healthy scratch six times this year.

With Brewer now out of the picture, the Lightning will only need to scratch one d-man a game or they can leave another forward out of the line-up (Tampa Bay are carrying 14 forwards) and run all seven blue liners out there.

Sustr has three assists in 22 games while Barberio is pointless in seven games and has been a healthy scratch for the majority of the season.

While Sustr has seen regular playing time this season, the trade of Brewer primarily helps Barberio and will allow him to play on a more regular basis.

However, the trade does leave the Lightning a little thin on NHL experience if they suffer another injury to a defenceman.

The only players in their minor league system who have NHL experience are Matthew Corrente and Jean-Philippe Cote. Luke Witkowski would be able to fill in admirably if needed but he has yet to play an NHL game.

Regardless, despite Brewer’s leadership, his play had slowly been declining. Moving him now was the perfect time and Yzerman again makes a decision that benefits the Lightning immediately as well as in the future.