B for B swap? Let’s do it!
Sometimes, I get a wild idea in my head and then I run with it. This time, I wanted to pick some random trades out of Lightning history and write about them, no matter if they were a big trade or a nothing trade. According to ProSportsTransactions.com, the Tampa Bay Lightning have made 306 trades during the course of franchise history. I used the Google Random Number Picker with a minimum of 1 and maximum of 306 and hit Generate. For this entry, it came up with 42.
The 42nd trade in Lightning history took place on June 29th, 1995 just before the opening offree agency. The Lightning acquired forward Brian Bellows from the Montreal Canadiens for center Marc Bureau.
Originally a 2nd overall pick by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, Bellows came to the Lightning as a well-respected, and talented, forward. He had spent the previous three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, and was part of the Stanley Cup winning squad in 1992-93. However, Bellows was coming off of a disappointing season in 1994-95 when he played in only 41 games, recording 8 goals and 16 points, a year after recording 33 goals and 71 points in 77 games for the Canadiens. With the Lightning, he recorded 23 goals and 49 points in 79 games, still well off of his career norms, but valuable for the Lightning in helping them reach their first playoff appearance in franchise history.
While the Lightning did not win their first round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers, Bellows recorded two goals in six games. Bellows’ first goal came in overtime of the second game to give the Lightning their first playoff win in franchise history.
His second goal came in Game Three of the series and tied the game at 4-4 with 1:19 left on the clock. Alex Selivanov (who had tied the game in the third period of the second game) went on to score the overtime goal. The Lightning then lost the next three to bow out of their first playoff appearance.
Bellows began the next season with the Lightning scoring a goal and three points in seven games before being traded to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim with the Lightning receiving a 1997 6th round pick. Bellows retired with 485 goals and 1,022 points in 1,188 career NHL games.
For newer fans, you may also recognize the last name, as his son Kieffer Bellows was a 1st round pick in 2016 by the Philadelphia Flyers and is back with the Flyers this season after starting his professional career with the New York Islanders.
Marc Bureau came to the Lightning at the beginning of the 1992-93 seasons after he was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota North Stars. Bureau played three seasons with the Lightning, picking up 20 goals and 60 points over 186 games. His 31 points in 1992-93 were the best of his career. After the trade, he spent three years with the Canadiens, parts of two seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, and the last part of the 1999-00 season with the Calgary Flames. He retired after playing 17 games in the AHL in 2000-01 with an NHL career that spanned 11 seasons and 567 games with 138 points.
After signing young defenseman Roman Hamrlk to a new contract and avoiding arbitration with goaltender Daren Puppa, general manager Phil Esposito turned his sights to adding some scoring to a team that had finished 24th out of 26 teams in scoring. Bellows had lost playing time in Montreal, but Espo was hoping that Bellows would provide goals as he was quoted in the St. Petersburg Times^,
“Not often can you get a guy who can score all the goals that Brian can – I’m putting the pressure on you now, Brian.”
It did cost them one of their best penalty killers in Bureau who likely would not have made the team in the fall.
^”Cry for goals answered with Bellows” by Tim Buckley, St. Petersburg TImes, July 1, 1995, retrieved January 31st, 2023 via Newspapers.com
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