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Analysis of the Tampa Bay Lightning trade for Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow

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Whomst? This is whomst.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at New York Islanders Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I honestly thought that the Tampa Bay Lightning were done. The team already added Blake Coleman to the top nine forwards, which I felt really solidified all four forward lines. It also gave the team a defensive ace to go along with Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn. The Lightning addressed the short term need for some defensive depth by signing Zach Bogosian off the streets to be a warm body while the blue line gets healthy.

But here we are on a Monday afternoon talking about Barclay Goodrow. I seriously went “Who?” when I saw the first Tweet about this trade. I didn’t recognize the name, which isn’t much of a surprise since he’s been a bottom six forward on a Western Conference team. Julien BriseBois apparently wasn’t done though. He added Goodrow to the lineup to add some more defensive acumen.

In addition to Goodrow, the Lightning have received a 2020 third round pick (originally from Philadelphia Flyers) from the San Jose Sharks for the Lightning’s 2020 first round pick and AHLer Anthony Greco. We’ll get more into the cost of the trade later after we take a closer look at Goodrow.

Goodrow was an undrafted free agent out of the OHL. He didn’t top the point per game scoring pace until his last year in the league. He spent most of his rookie professional season in the NHL with the Sharks, but then spent the majority of the next two seasons in the AHL. He became a regular in the line up in 2017-18. Prior to this season, Goodrow was averaging under 11 minutes a night, but has jumped to over 16 minutes this season.

Goodrow has also gotten quite a bit of short-handed ice time this year and was leading the Sharks’ forwards in short-handed time on ice. The Lightning have been pretty set with Anthony Cirelli, Alex Killorn, Cedric Paquette, and Yanni Gourde up front on the penalty kill with Mitchell Stephens, Ondrej Palat, and Stephen Stamkos contributing as well. Goodrow has shown some flashes in the past on the penalty kill, but has been replacement level this year by GAR.

Goodrow isn’t going to be a high impact offensive player, but he does show a penchant for being strong on the defensive side of the puck as the below chart from Evolving-Hockey.com shows over the past three seasons. He’s also got good size standing at 6’2” and 215 pounds.

As for where in the line up he would fit, I think you have to look no further than the fourth line with Cedric Paquette and Pat Maroon. Goodrow is a left hander, but has played right wing during his professional career. He’s got size, he’s got defense. On the surface, it seems like a good fit and will put his ice time more in line with his career averages before this season. It also means that Carter Verhaeghe and Mitchell Stephens are on the outside looking in for playing time, unless someone is injured. Or if Stephens can somehow take Paquette’s place centering the fourth line.

Now that we know a bit more about Goodrow and how I think he fits in, let’s dive in to the costs of the trade.

With the Lightning being at the 50 contract max, they had to trade a player on an NHL contract back to the Sharks. They did that by trading Anthony Greco. I know you’re asking “Who’s that?” And I don’t blame you. The Lightning just acquired Greco from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Danick Martel in an AHL swap of forwards. Greco has played three games for the Syracuse Crunch since he was acquired with one assist. So from an NHL perspective, that part of the deal can be ignored although it does hurt the Crunch to lose a top six forward and not get a replacement.

What this trade really ends up being is a first round pick for Goodrow and a third round pick. While we were waiting for the details to be finalized, the Raw Charge staff were throwing around some ideas about what it would look like if the Sharks added in a 2nd or 3rd round pick to even things out. It really felt like a first round pick was just too much to pay for a career fourth liner having a good year playing further up the Sharks line up.

The further the Lightning go into the playoffs, the better the pick swap becomes. Also the worse that the Flyers finish, though that isn’t as big of an impact on the value of picks. As one example, in 2015, the Lightning traded the 28th overall pick in the first round for the 33rd pick in the second round and the 72nd pick in the third round. The Flyers are currently in a playoff position though so this third round pick will be in the latter half of the third round, though the difference between a third round pick in the first third of the round and in the last third of the round is another late third round pick.

But if the Lightning fall out of the playoffs within the first two rounds, then the trade value difference is more like a late first round pick. The best case scenario (obviously) is for the Lightning to win the Stanley Cup and make the value of that first round pick as low as possible.

With that perspective in mind, the potential differences in the values of the picks makes the cost of this trade look a little better. Would I have liked for the Lightning to have gotten a second round pick instead of the third? Absolutely. That would make the value of Goodrow more in line with a third round pick which sounds about right for a depth forward like him.

I believe that a big consideration in this trade though is one that was similar to Blake Coleman. Goodrow is under contract for one more season at $925,000. For a defensively responsible, bottom six forward, this is a very fair price to pay. It locks in yet one more of the forward spot variables for Julien BriseBois as he navigates the Lightning’s cap crunch this summer.

Following the trade, the Lightning are now without a 1st or 5th round pick in the coming draft, but have two picks each in the third, fourth, and sixth rounds, and a seventh round pick. Al Murray and his scouting staff will be put to the test in trying to find some more gems in the rough of the later rounds of this draft and will have multiple opportunities to try.

We also have to keep in mind that the Lightning are likely to be trading at least one forward (Killorn?) and maybe even another forward if they can convince someone to waive their No Trade Clause (Johnson, Palat, Gourde?). It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Lightning could pick up one or two first round picks in those transactions before the draft and recoup all of the value plus some that they lost in this trade.

It will be some months before we see how this particular trade turns out. We’ll have to hope that Goodrow fits in well in the bottom six and provides solid value not only this year but next year for the Lightning. If the team can win the Stanley Cup and land a first round pick or two in trades this summer, then it will be a lot easier to swallow having given up yet another first round pick in a trade.