On the Tampa Bay Lightning …
The expansion draft and salary cap issues are creating some extra decisions for GM Steve Yzerman. Yzerman isn’t sure what he’s going to do yet. He was asked if there were any untouchable players on his roster.
“We have our core, and I want to try to add to that core. Over time, your core has to change. That’s just the reality. You can’t afford to keep everybody. Are players untouchable? Yes. Because I want to build around the core. But at some point to address the needs, if there’s something really good out there, you’re going to probably have to give up something really good to do that.”
Trade deadline possibilities with the ‘why’, ‘why not’ and possible destinations.
Ben Bishop: Hard to see the Lightning re-signing him with Andrei Vasilevskiy signed for the next three years. Better to get an asset as opposed to losing him for nothing. His recent play may be a reason not to trade him. He has a partial no-trade listing eight teams he can’t be traded to. Possible destinations include Calgary, Winnipeg, Philadelphia and NY Islanders.
Brian Boyle: Pending UFA. He’d like to re-sign and they might be interested. They could get a good draft pick return for him. Reason why teams would want to trade for him are reasons why they may want to keep him. Possible destinations include Edmonton, Toronto, Columbus.
Tyler Johnson: It won’t be easy for the Lightning to re-sign all their pending RFAs in Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin. They will definitely re-sign Drouin. Palat will be cheaper. They may not be able to afford Johnson, and they have Brayden Point ready to step in. They should get a good return for Johnson. Johnson has been their No. 1 center and would leave a hole while Stamkos is out. Possible destinations include Nashville, St. Louis, NY Islanders and New Jersey,
Valterri Filppula and Jason Garrison: Could move either for salary cap reasons. Filppula has a year left at a $5 million cap hit and Garrison has a year left at $4.6 million. Filppula has a no-movement clause and the Lightning have to protect him in the expansion draft. Garrison also has a no-movement clause, so it will be hard to move either. Would need to include draft picks or prospects to move either.