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Lightning Round: Today is the deadline for submitting protection lists

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Gabriel Landeskog is reportedly interested in signing with the Lightning.

NHL: DEC 08 Avalanche at Lightning Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s already July 17, which means that NHL teams are required to submit their protection lists to the NHL for the upcoming Expansion Draft by 5 pm EST. NHL teams have also their last chance to make any other moves until 3 pm EST, when the transaction freeze will be activated. The Seattle Kraken will receive their lists tomorrow at 10 am EST, at the same time Seattle can start negotiating with free agents. The protection lists will be released to the public tomorrow morning as well.

Given the latest rumours and speculations, the most possible option is that the Tampa Bay Lightning will protect four forwards, four defencemen and one goalie. Besides obvious locks like Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli, Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev, Erik Cernak and Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning will probably protect Ryan McDonagh. The Lightning’s executives and coaches pushed pretty hard on the narrative of McDonagh’s importance for the team during both Stanley Cup runs, which makes it obvious to assume that the team will try to keep their defensive core in an attempt to win another Cup next year. Protecting McDonagh also automatically leaves Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat out of the list – not a bad variety of choice for Seattle. Earlier this weeks Geo compiled all the potential Lightning options at the Expansion Draft [Raw Charge]

The biggest risk in this protection list is leaving Ryan McDonagh exposed. Ultimately, by choosing this protection list, you’re doing so with the belief that Ryan McDonagh’s contract, as well as his analytical outlook through the rest of the contract, would dissuade Seattle from taking him. It’s also being ok with the risk that you lose him for nothing. There’s certainly concerns about how he’ll hold up through the end of his contract with him turning 33 years old today and being under contract for five more seasons.

Meanwhile the Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog is interested to sign with the Lightning, however his asking price in the range of $9-$10M which makes it almost impossible. Reportedly the St. Louis Blues are the main favourite to land Landeskog.

The other teams did not waste their time either. Yesterday the Detroit Red Wings traded their forward Richard Panik and the 52nd selection in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft to the New York Islanders in exchange for defenceman Nick Leddy. The Red Wings will also retain half the Panik’s $2,75 salary.

The Islanders still need to find another defenceman to expose in the Expansion Draft. Andy Greene or former Lightning player Braydon Coburn are the possibilities

The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Morgan Geekie to a one-year contract. He meets the expansion draft exposure requirements.

The New York Rangers agreed on a one-year contract with forward Julien Gauthier

The Pittsburgh Penguins are potentially leaving Jared McCann out of their protection list.

According to Alex Edler’s agent Mark Stowe, his client will be exploring free agency this offseason.