NHL Trade Deadline Primer for the Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning were one of the more active teams in the NHL last summer and don’t look to be extremely active at this year’s trade deadline. The Bolts probably won’t be completing any blockbuster trades, but there is still some possibility of a trade to revamp the locker room.
After the first two weeks of the season, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman looked like a genius with his acquisitions of Matt Carle, Benoit Pouliot and Anders Lindback to name a few.
Reality has since set in and the Lightning find themselves on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Will the Lightning be buyers or sellers at the deadline? Here is a full preview of Tampa Bay’s approach to the deadline.
Soon-to-Be Free Agents
Typically, soon-to-be free agents are the targets of trades. Whether they are restricted or unrestricted free agents, the Lightning don’t have many options.
Tampa Bay doesn’t have any potential free agents for this upcoming offseason. They have five unrestricted free agents after the 2013-14 season and three after the 2014-15 season.
Here is the full list of soon-to-be free agents:
B.J. Crombeen (UFA)
Pierre-Cedric Labrie (UFA)
Marc-Andre Bergeron (UFA)
Mathieu Garon (UFA)
Cedrick Desjardins (UFA)
Beniot Pouliot (RFA)
Radko Gudas (RFA)
Keith Aulie (RFA)
Cory Conacher (RFA)
Tyler Johnson (RFA)
Richard Panik (RFA)
Alex Killorn (RFA)
Dana Tyrell (RFA)
Tom Pyatt (UFA)
Ondrej Palat (RFA)
Sami Salo (UFA)
Brian Lee (RFA)
Andrej Sustr (RFA)
Unless a team is doing a complete rebuild, usually the superstars are untouchable at the trade deadline. The Lightning’s superstars may not be untouchable—outside of Steven Stamkos.
Surprisingly, it may be the young guns for Tampa Bay that are the untouchables. Maybe, it’s in preparation for a promotion of the Syracuse Crunch’s head coach Jon Cooper or to solidify the future of the franchise?
Who are The Untouchables?
I fully expect those five names to be the future of the Lightning franchise.
The Lightning made their biggest change in the last few years with the firing of head coach Guy Boucher Sunday morning. That development could either make the Lightning extremely active at the deadline or even more passive as they try to decide who will fit in a new coach’s system.
Here are some of the tradable players:
Marc-Andre Bergeron—anyone looking for a depth defenseman
Ryan Malone—if healthy
Sami Salo—if a veteran defenseman is needed
There is little to believe the Lightning will deal any of the young talent or draft picks before the offseason.
From Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Bay Times (via TBO.com):
"I kind of repeat myself, but anything we can do that makes us a better team moving forward," Yzerman said. "We are not looking to do things where I'm trading young players or draft picks for rental players. Anything that makes us a better team not only now but in the future, I'll look at. But right now, I can't make any predictions to what we may or may not do."