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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay re-signed Alex Barre-Boulet and Taylor Raddysh on Day 3 of free agency

Mitchell Stephens was traded to Detroit

2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

On Friday, the Tampa Bay Lightning continued shaping up their roster for the upcoming 2021-22 NHL season. Despite trading Tyler Johnson before the start of free agency, the Lightning remained in serious cap crunch. After signing of Corey Perry and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare a day before, it was obvious that the Lightning needed to move some pieces and Mitchell Stephens ended up the odd man out. As a result Tampa Bay traded him to the Detroit Red Wings for a sixth round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Not the worst outcome for Stephens, who will definitely get more opportunities with the Red Wings and will have a chance to reshape his career, as former Lightning player Adam Erne did in Detroit. Stephens started the previous season as a Lightning regular player, but after recovering from an injury in late January he couldn’t find a way back to the lineup. With signing of Bellemare and Ross Colton, who had a breakout past season, it became harder to find a roster spot for Stephens. Moreover, to be able to reassign Stephens to the Syracuse Crunch, he would have to pass through waivers and the Lightning clearly didn’t want to lose players this way. Geo summarized the thoughts on this move in his yesterday’s article [Raw Charge]

When the Lightning signed Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in free agency, it felt like the writing might be on the wall for Stephens. If he was to stay in the line-up, he’d have to be shifted over to the right wing on the fourth line. That’s a spot that now may be going to Corey Perry after his signing. Moving Stephens to Detroit also makes sure that Alex Barre-Boulet, who just signed a three-year contract, will most likely have a spot on the roster and in the line-up, as long as he earns it in training camp. It also leaves one more spot open for a player like Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Simon Ryfors, Gemel Smith, Charles Hudon, or Gabriel Dumont to be the 13th forward on the NHL squad.

Almost at the same time the Lightning announced that the team have signed Alex Barre-Boulet to a three-year contract with a cap hit of $758,333. The first year of his contract is two-way, while the other two are one-way. As Geo mentioned in his article, after Stephens’ trade, Barre-Boulet will most likely enter the next season as a regular player. Barre-Boulet made his debut with the Lightning last season, scoring three goals in 15 regular season games. Barre-Boulet has a high offensive upside and projected as high as a top-six player by some experts. Last season he had a chance to play on the Lightning’s top line, replacing Nikita Kucherov during his recovery. If he is able to live up to his potential, this contract may turn out as one of the best Lightning’s contracts.

The Lightning finished Day 3 of free agency signing another restricted free agent, Taylor Raddysh, to a three-year deal. The structure of his deal is almost identical as Barre-Boulet’s deal. Raddysh has yet to make his NHL debut, but will have a chance to fight for bottom-six spot at the Lightning roster in the upcoming season.

After Friday, the Lightning still have three restricted free agents to resign – Ross Colton, Boris Katchouk and Sean Day.

Lightning Links

Corey Perry is excited to join the Tampa Bay Lightning, admitting the winning culture of the organization played a big factor in his decision.

Former Lightning forward Tyler Johnson, who was recently traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, brought the Cup to his hometown Spokane during his days with the Cup.

Lightning prospect Sammy Walker announced a registration for his first ever hockey camp, which will be held in Richfield, Minnesota on August 16-18.

Hockey News

Former Boston Bruins player David Krejci announced his return to the Czech Republic. Krejci was a pending unrestricted free agent, but decided to play the final years of his career on his homeland.

Jack Eichel’s agents released a statement, claiming that the Buffalo Sabres’ process isn’t working and that the team is preventing Eichel from undergoing a procedure.

Defenceman Brian Lashoff, who was a part of David Savard’s three-team deal last spring, signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings.

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Ondrej Kase to a one-year deal. Due to injuries Kase played in only 58 regular season games over the last three years.

The Chicago Blackhawks signed defenceman Jake McCabe to a four-year deal with an AAV of $4 million.

The Vancouver Canucks re-signed defenceman Travis Hamonic for another two years.

The Anaheim Ducks’ captain Ryan Getzlaf is staying with the team for one more year.