From a hockey hound's point of view, neither Alex Tanguay nor Antero Niittymaki were the Tampa Bay Lightning's best offseason acquisition.
Nope, sorry. That honor goes to assistant coach Adam Oates, brought on primarily to help the Bolts' power play and to work with the team's forwards.
It's my guess, and it's just that -- a guess, that Oates will someday be in hockey's hallowed hall. In a sense, it's a shame he's not already enshrined. During his playing days, the guy was an assist machine, logging more than 1,075 in just under 1,350 games with seven NHL teams.
One of those teams was, in fact, the Detroit Red Wings, the club that Oates signed with an an undrafted free agent in 1985.
"Man, that was a long time ago," Oates told me while signing this puck after practice Monday.