Hi guys! I'm fairly new to Raw Charge, but I've been a Lightning fan for almost 15 years now (didn't watch hockey before that). Quick story, my first Lightning game I attended was against the Phoenix Coyotes and we got crushed 8-0 haha.
With that said, I thought it would be fun to get a thread going of who the Lightning should get rid of and who they should keep in Tampa.
Guys that need to go:
1. Ryan Malone- Sorry Malone, but your time is up. He hasn't been a productive player in 3 years and he's getting paid waaaaay too much. He's only getting 2.5 mil next year (last year on contract too), but his cap hit is 4.5 million. Buy him out and move on in my opinion.
2. Ryan Callahan- I was unimpressed with the physicality that Callahan was suppose to bring. He's not a play maker and he got pushed out of the front of the net too easily. He's likely going to command 5+ million a year which is too much for a player with his skillset. Plus, if we re-sign him we basically lose a 2nd round pick next year.
3. Anders Lindback- He's a restricted free agent so he'll come relatively cheap. If I'm Stevie Y, I'm trying my best to trade this guy. The way he performed after Bishop got hurt should get at least a couple teams interested. We can easily afford to lose him and insert Kristers Gudlevskis as the backup. That would also allow us to have Andrei Vasilevskiy be the starter in Syracuse.
4.Sami Salo- He's an unrestricted free agent. Let him go. Of all the defenseman, Salo is my least favorite. He's not physical enough on the boards and routinely makes bonehead passes.
5. Brett Connolly- This guy just doesn't fit in with the current team. He seems to regress when placed on the developmental 4th line. I would pair him in a trade with Lindback and Purcell to bring in the top 4 defenseman this team truly needs.
6. Teddy Purcell- I love Teddy as a player. He does everything you ask, but doesn't have that superstar skillset. He can play on a top scoring line, or on the checking line. Very versatile player. But for 4.5 million, I would trade him. He alone wont bring much back, which is why I'd bundle Connolly and Lindback with him.
Guys that need to stay in Tampa:
1. Cedric Paquette- He won't blow you away with his skillset, but he's a grinder and two-way player. He's similar to Malone and Callahan in that he'll post up in front of the opponents net, and he's strong on the boards. He and Killorn are reasons why we can easily afford to lose Malone and Callahan. Is he a top 2 line player, no, but he's a nice fit on a checking line with Nate Thompson and BJ Crombeen. Speaking of Crombeen...
2. B.J. Crombeen- As previously stated, a checking line of Paquette, Crombeen and Thompson would fit nicely together. He's cheap at 1 million a year too. Most of the prospects in the Lightning system are flashy guys. While that's nice to have, we need a couple meat and potatoes players. Crombeen fits that description. I would offer him a contract extension for a couple more years at around the same price.
Here is how I would have the lines set up next year:
Currently, the salary cap for next year will be around 68-71 million with the cap floor being around 52-55 million. With this roster, we have about 35 million in contracts for 2014-15. We'd save 8.5 million by getting rid of Lindback, Malone and Purcell. We could essentially sign a couple proven vets for 1-2 year deals and lock up the young guys beyond that.
Notable free agents probably willing to sign 1-2 year deals:
What do you guys think?