One of the more awkward exchanges for a player is the rare occurance where he is traded, says good bye to his former mates, then walks down the hall and meets his new team in the other locker room.
With most general managers still hibernating through a moderately temperate winter in the weeks leading up to this year's trade deadline, the Sharks and Lightning struck a deal just minutes before the opening faceoff at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Lightning sent pesky defensive forward Dominic Moore roughly 35 feet away to San Jose in exchange for a second round pick in this year's draft that originally belonged to Minnesota.
The Sharks also sent a 2012 seventh-round selection to Tampa Bay as well.
As for the game, Moore's old buddies bested the Sharks in a wild 6-5 overtime affair that saw five lead changes on Martin St. Louis' second goal of the evening.
St. Louis gave Tampa Bay the lead with just under 12 minutes remaining on a bit of a fluky goal. The Lightning held the lead until Logan Couture set up Tommy Wingels with a beautiful 2-on-1 head fake and pass. Wingels buried it for his second goal of the season to force overtime before St. Louis struck again:
Obviously, Dominic Moore may not be the household name that's going to shake up the rest of the league and create a domino effect in the trade market. But with the addition of Moore, the Sharks addressed a glaring need that has become their annual Achillies heel in the postseason, grittiness.
Moore's offensive stats have never impressed anyone, but he's shown over the course of his career that he can be a valuable asset to a team looking to make a playoff run. He scored 11 points (3 G, 8 A) in 18 postseason games with the Lightning, as they came within a game of the Stanley Cup Finals.
This year, he averaged over two minutes of penalty kill time per game in Tampa Bay and won 55 percent of faceoffs. With the depth the Sharks already have at center, between Joe Thornton, Couture and Michal Handzus, Moore will certainly take a back seat for offensive zone draws.
San Jose wasted no time getting their man, as more and more players, such as P.A. Parenteau, Frans Nielsen and Tuomo Ruutu, seem to be destined to stay put.
Don't expect Moore to be the remedy for San Jose's all-but annual playoff letdowns, but in a few months time he could turn out to be an underrated piece to a championship puzzle.