Because we're all about the love here at Five For Smiting, I thought I'd offer a our newest
The first thing you need to do, now that Mesz will be your highest paid D-man and the presumptive anchor on your blue line is...get a better goalie. I know, I know. "But we have Kolzig! Ollie THE Goalie! Waddya mean, get a "better" goalie!" Sorry folks. That ain't going to be enough. Now that you've entrusted #14 with protecting your own end, you'd better try to talk Patrick Roy out of retirement. Or Vladislav Tretiak (after all, he and Ollie are about the same age). Or maybe dig up the rotting corpse of Georges Vezina. Anything.
Second, buy a thesaurus. You'll want to have at the ready as many synonyms for the word "soft" as possible, if only to come up with witty alternatives to the standard "BOOOO!". And if, while watching your home town heroes, you lose sight of the boy, don't bother looking in the corners because he won't be there. Your best bet is to watch for the first guy heading to the bench.
Now, don't get me wrong, Tampa. We kinda liked the kid before he went all "Yashin" on us. And I'm totally convinced he absolutely will not pull the "I'm under paid!" card two years from now and hold out on his existing contract. Totally! Don't even worry about it!
Really, you should be overjoyed. You've managed to land a 22 year old first round pick who had a rookie season good enough to be considered for the Calder. Of course he spent that year playing next to Zdeno Chara...and his two years playing with Wade Redden (whom, you may have noticed, we also let walk) could best be described as a disappointment, if by "disappointment" you mean "so infuriating it made Sens fans want to jam sporks through their eyeballs to lessen the pain".
But still! $24,000,000.00!! What a steal! And what did you have to give up, really? Filip Kuba? The only defenceman wearing the big bolt other coaches actually worried about? Bah! Alexandre Picard? A 23 year-old stud, drafted 8th overall who, in the words of Tampa fans in the know, will "hit anything that moves"? Piffle! A first round pick?? 'Tis but a trifle! After all, San Jose won't suck that much...will they?
On the flip side, watching all of those opposing forwards dance and skip through, around and over Andrej's flailing stick should make for some exciting times down at the 'ole Times-Forum. Have fun with that.
Update: Did you know that there are two "Alexandre Picard"s playing in the NHL? I didn't. And neither, apparently does TSN. Their original story on the trade linked to this guy, first round pick (8th over all) of the Blue Jackets. Our Alexandre Picard is this guy, who went 3rd round, 85th overall. I probably should have noticed the linked bio was from the wrong team...but I'm still pummeling the first TSN I/T monkey I find about the head and neck. Just on general principle.