By Rich Herrera

You know in kid’s sports they hand out trophies to everyone just for showing up, for trying, and for playing every game. While I think the idea that everyone gets a trophy in kids sports is an awful idea, I would waive my normal distaste for the everyone gets a reward concept for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season.

This lightning team could have, should have and might have folded up their tents and went home after seeing their superstar Steven Stamkos lost for a major portion of the year, and their captain demand a trade in the midst of the playoff run. Most teams could have withstood one of these scenarios, but not both. That’s why I have all the respect in the world for the mild mannered soft spoken John Cooper for keep the Bolts ship afloat during this season, but getting them to playoffs might have been even bigger.

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I know that losing in four games to the Habs was a huge let down. Who knows what have been to be if the Bolts had a healthy Ben Bishop in net. And that is the trap of what if’s are used in evaluating what happens in life. Who knows what if that or that happens. What if I went to that store instead of this store to buy my powerball tickets would I have won the lotto. Who knows.

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The one thing I know if that Copper did a great job getting the Lightning to the playoffs no matter what the outcome.

Some other things I know, I would like to see the Bolts keep Ryan Callahan, he brings some toughness the Lightning really needs. I know Lindback was not good in the playoffs, but before I push him off the Skyway bridge I’d like to see what he would be like with a defense that can clear the puck from his zone.

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Lastly I keep thinking the St Louis trade hurt the Bolts in a way that no has brought up. With all the work it took to deal Marty to the Rangers, did that take away from Stevie Y dealing for the defenseman that they really needed in the series against Montreal.