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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay planning to be aggressive in moving salary as we reach Draft Day 1

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The Lightning have a championship and no first round pick, but a lot of cap problems to solve.

2016 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With their two first round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning select Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow — and the rest is history.

The first day of the NHL Draft starts at 7:00 pm ET and we’ll be able to see which prospects will be taken with the first 31 picks. There will probably be trades and shenanigans going on during the three-hour Zoom call, and there’s a chance Julien Brisebois gets in on the action in order to make space on the salary cap front. Even if the Lightning aren’t able to trade back into the first round, it’ll be some good programming before a potentially long offseason.

Training camps usually starts two months after Free Agency, which for this offseason would be mid-December. There is speculation that training camps will open in mid November, but this is an optimistic number, we might not realistically see players back on the ice until the new year.

Poll

When do you think we’ll see our first Lightning trade of the offseason?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Oct 6: Draft Day 1
    (81 votes)
  • 28%
    Oct 7: Draft Day 2
    (44 votes)
  • 10%
    Between the Draft and Free Agency
    (16 votes)
  • 3%
    Oct 9: first day of Free Agency
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    After Free Agency opens
    (5 votes)
152 votes total Vote Now

Lightning Links

First up, the Lightning are planning to be very upfront and honest with Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev as the three sides all try to keep the two young stars in Tampa Bay. It’s being implied here by LeBrun that the Lightning are going to offer what they think is best for both sides and not try to underhandedly low-ball anyone. I wonder if it’s going to be matching deals?

Offer sheets cannot be sent until the first day of Free Agency (October 9th) so getting a deal done before that will be the healthiest thing for all parties involved. We just won a Cup, everyone should be happy, this shouldn’t take too long.

*** Late Addition ***

Bob McKenzie dropped a bomb late last night that states the Lightning plan to be very aggressive in moving salary in order to get the RFAs signed. The untouchables according to Bob include Andrei Vasilevskiy, Victor Hedman, Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, and the three RFAs Anthony Cirelli, Mikhail Sergachev, and Erik Cernak. Steven Stamkos is not on the list, but not high on the trade list. They might move him if the injury is bad and he blesses the move (he has a full NMC).

Matt writes about falling and earning the redemption that led to the franchise’s second championship. That story and more in Part 3 of his Lightning Championship Journey series. [Raw Charge]

“After the failure of the 2016-2017 season, general manager Steve Yzerman had two pressing matters that needed attending: the NHL Expansion Draft for the newly formed Vegas Golden Knights and improving the Lightning roster for 2017-2018. Yzerman decided to approach his immediate roster first.”

The Lightning celebrated with the Bucs over the weekend. Check out some of the pictures!

Elsewhere in the league...

Jim Rutherford and the Pittsburgh Penguins have bought Jack Johnson out his contract, two years into a five-year deal that was so obviously a mistake from the day it was signed. His six years of buyout cap hits do not look pretty, especially for a team that is supposedly trying to win a Cup.

Mercy is absolutely the word.

Matt Niskanen, who won the Cup with the Washington Capitals, has announced his retirement at 33 with one year remaining on his contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. He leaves still a very good defenseman, which means the Flyers have a hole to fill. They subsequently stopped the bleeding by re-signing Justin Braun to a two-year contract worth $1.8 million per year. Side note: cap hits on new contracts are much lower than I thought they would be. Most are half or a third of what I thought they would be, including Braun’s.[Broadstreet Hockey]

Niskanen retiring significantly changes the Flyers’ offseason plans. The 33-year-old formed solid chemistry with Ivan Provorov on the Flyers’ top defensive pairing, and he’s been credited with helping turn Provorov’s game around after his poor showing in 2018-19.”

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid has COVID-19. He was at home in Newmarket, Ontario, north of Toronto.

The Minnesota Wild have traded Ryan Donato and Devan Dubnyk (50% retained) to the San Jose Sharks for a 2021 third round pick and a 2022 fifth round pick in two separate deals on the same day. [Hockey Wilderness]

“A busy day for the Minnesota Wild just got busier, as The Athletic’s Michael Russo reports that goaltender Devan Dubnyk will be heading out west to join the San Jose Sharks, in return for a fifth-round draft pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. To complete the deal, the Wild also sent along a 2022 seventh-round selection, as well as agreed to retain half of Dubnyk’s $2.5 million salary and $4.33 million cap hit.”

One year, one million, come on you know you want to! We’ll even hire someone to drive you around on a boat!

The Lightning pick around where NHL prospect Zayde Wisdom is expected to go, and after watching him this year, he is someone you will not regret drafting. I’ll post the full feature when it becomes available.