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Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman tries to reshape roster

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When the smoke had cleared, Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman wouldn’t say his team was in better shape for the future.

Just that it’s in position to be.

Yzerman moved the third player off of his roster Wednesday, shipping forward Valtteri Filppula at the trade deadline in an effort to get out of his contract. Yzerman sent Filppula to Philadelphia along with a fourth- and a seventh-round draft pick for Mark Streit. The Bolts then traded Streit to Pittsburgh for a fourth-round pick.

Earlier in the week, Yzerman had traded goaltender Ben Bishop and forward Brian Boyle.

“We’re in a position to be better off for the future,” Yzerman said. “Now we have to make some good decisions to improve our team. We needed cap space. One, to protect the cap for next year. Two, to sign our players. Now we have to make good decisions moving forward. It positions us to do the things we need to do to become better. Cap-wise, we are (better); competitive-wise, we have work to do.”

Yzerman was asked if he would have made these moves if the Lightning was in place for the playoffs.

“It depends on what place,” he said, his face serious.

Yzerman admits he expected his team to be higher in the standings.

“Everyone knows we’re going to get crunched at some point.”

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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