The other day, I was watching a Steve Dangle trade tree video on the SportsNet YouTube channel, and he mentioned a web site I had not found before; NHLTradeTracking.com. It’s a pretty interesting web site and goes back quite a ways. One of the features it has is Trades by GM. Using this, I’m going to look at the first and last trade made by every GM in Tampa Bay Lightning history.
1992-1998 - Phil Esposito
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire G Jean-Claude Bergeron from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for G Frederic Chabot on June 18, 1992.
Chabot was originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 10th round of the 1986 NHL Entry Draft, but was never signed. The Canadiens signed him as a free-agent in the middle of the 1989-90 seasons while he was playing in the IHL with the Fort Wayne Komets and assigned him to their AHL team the Sherbrooke Canadiens. The Lightning then selected Chabot in the Expansion Draft from the Montreal and then immediately traded him back for Jean-Claude Bergeron.
Bergeron, a 5th round pick of the Canadiens in 1988, appeared in 21 games for the inaugural Tampa Bay Lightning team in 1992-93 and continued to make sporadic appearances in the NHL for the Lightning through the 1995-96 season, splitting his time in the IHL with the Atlanta Knights. In 1996-97, Bergeron moved to the Los Angeles Kings organization as a free agent, playing most in the IHL and then retired from professional hockey.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired RW Sandy McCarthy, a 1998 3rd round pick and 1998 5th round pick from the Calgary Flames in exchange for C Jason Wiemer on March 24th, 1998.
This trade occurred at the trade deadline of the 1997-98 season after Wiemer had put up eight goals and 17 points in 67 games to go with 132 PIMs. Wiemar was originally a 1st round pick by the Lightning, 8th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
In return, the Lightning picked up Sandy McCarthy, another tough guy, who put up five points over 13 games along with 71 PIMs to finish out the season. The 5th round pick the Lightning acquired turned into Curtis Rich, who never did much, playing just 64 ECHL games.
The 3rd round pick on the other hand turned into none other than the great... Brad Richards. I’d also like to point out that Phil Esposito also made another trade earlier in the day that gave the Lightning the right to swap 1998 first round picks with the San Jose Sharks, which the Lightning did, giving them the 1st overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft which turned into none other than the great... Vincent Lecavalier.
Esposito’s last two trades as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning enabled the team to win it’s first Stanley Cup championship in 2004 by getting Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards.
1998-99 - Jacques Demers
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire C Craig Janney from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for LW Louie DeBrusk and a 1998 5th round pick on June 11th, 1998.
Louie Debrusk had played in 54 games for the Lightning in 1997-98 recording three points and 166 PIMs. So, a depth player. The 5th round pick was used on D Jay Leach, who would actually spend most of the 2007-08 season in the Lightning organization and played two games in the NHL for the Lightning.
Janney played in 38 games for the Lightning in the 1998-99 season recording four goals and 22 points before being traded to the New York Islanders. Janney retired following the season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire future considerations from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for D Sami Helenius.
Helenius had played four games in the NHL for the Lightning during the 1998-99 season recording one goal and had been acquired less than two months before from the Calgary Flames in exchange for... future considerations.
A pretty lackluster trade for the GM to go out on, though he did make a couple other trades earlier in the day with the Detroit Red Wings, including shipping out Wendel Clark and a 6th round pick for Kevin Hodson and a 2nd round pick.
1999-2000 - Rick Dudley
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire a 1999 1st round pick (4th overall), 1999 3rd round pick, and 1999 3rd round pick from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a 1999 1st round pick (1st overall) on June 26, 1999.
I know it seems weird to be trading the 1st overall pick away, but this was the Henrik and Daniel Sedin draft. The Vancouver Canucks were trying to maneuver everything around so that they eventually ended up having the 2nd and 3rd overall picks so that they could take the Sedin twins. The Lightning picked up two 3rd round picks and also ended up trading the 4th overall pick to the New York Rangers for Dan Cloutier, Niklas Sundstrom, a 2000 1st (8th overall), and 2000 3rd round draft picks. Crazy day.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire LW Dwayne Hay and C Ryan Johnson from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Mike Sillinger on March 14th, 2000.
Hay finished out the 1999-00 season with two points in 13 games for the Lightning and then left as a free agent. Johnson played in 13 games with two points and then followed that up with 21 points in 80 games in 2000-01. Johnson was eventually traded back to the Panthers with a 7th round pick for Vinny Prospal in July 2001.
Sillinger had put up 44 points in 67 games for the Lightning before his trade to the Panthers during the 1999-00 season.
2000-2008 - Jay Feaster
Tampa Bay Lightning acquire a 2000 7th round pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for the rights to Eric Beaudoin on June 1st, 2000.
Beaudoin had been a 4th round pick by the Lightning in the 1998 draft and the Lightning had not yet signed him. Beaudoin played five years of professional hockey for the Florida Panthers, mostly in the AHL before going to Europe to finish out his career. He played in a total of 53 NHL games with 11 points.
The 7th round pick was traded a day later to the Montreal Canadiens for goaltender Kevin Hodson who played in 40 NHL games for the Lightning.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire RW Brandon Segal and a 2008 7th round pick from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for D Jay Leach on February 26th, 2008.
Remember when I mentioned Jay Leach earlier? Yeah, this is where the Lightning got rid of him. Seagal spent a couple of years with the Lightning, mostly playing in the AHL, then went to the Kings and Stars before coming back to the Lightning in 2011-12 and serving mostly as a depth player, not playing much in the NHL or AHL.
2008-2010 - Brian Lawton
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire LW Vinny Prospal from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a 2008 7th round pick and 2009 conditional 4th round pick if Prospal re-signed, on June 18th, 2008.
For about the 50th time, the Lightning acquire Vinny Prospal. Ok, not quite, but it feels like it. This ended up being Prospal’s 3rd stint with the Lightning after the team had traded him to the Flyers at the 2007-08 trade deadline. The Lightning re-signed him and he put up 19 goals and 45 points during the 2008-09 season in 82 games played. Then he left the organization for good as a player.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire LW Teddy Purcell and a 2010 3rd round pick from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for C Jeff Halpern on March 3rd 2010.
Jeff Halpern had put up 17 points in 55 games for the Lightning before being sent across the country at the trade deadline. Halpern would eventually make his way back to the Tampa organization first as a developmental coach, then assistant coach and is currently on the Lightning’s NHL coaching staff.
Purcell found a lot of success for the Lightning in their top six. After having put up just 25 points over 91 games with the Los Angeles Kings, he put up nine points in 19 games after the trade deadline. He followed that up with a 51 and 65 point season which earned him a fairly big payday. He started to see some decline in his game after the 2012-13 season due to a shoulder injury that had hampered his ability to shoot though puck, though he had always been much more of a playmaker than a shooter. He would be traded to the Edmonton Oilers in a salary cap dump prior to the 2014-15 season.
The 3rd round pick was used to select Brock Beukeboom who did not last long in the organization and was traded along with a 3rd round pick (that was used by the St. Louis Blues on Jordan Binnington) for Eric Brewer.
2010-2018 - Steve Yzerman
Thee Tampa Bay Lightning acquire a 2012 2nd round pick from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for D Andrej Meszaros.
This trade was a bit of a salary dump for the Lightning, as well as I think Meszaros not suiting the type of defenseman that Steve Yzerman wanted to employ for the Lightning. Not long after, Yzerman signed Pavel Kubina, Brett Clark, and Mike Lundin to re-shape the Lightning defensive corps. The 2nd round pick was eventually traded to the Nashville Predators in the Anders Lindback deal.
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire F Andy Andreoff from the Los Angeles Kings for G Peter Budaj on June 13th, 2018.
While not Yzerman’s last act as General Manager of the Lightning, it was his last trade. The Lightning knew they were going to re-sign Louis Domingue to be the team’s back-up after having acquire Budaj from the Kings in the Ben Bishop trade. They made an easy deal with the Kings to send Budaj back to them to finish out in their minor league system, while getting back an AHL depth forward.
2018-present - Julien BriseBois
The Tampa Bay Lightning acquire D Jan Rutta and a 2019 7th round pick from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for D Slater Koekkoek and a 2019 5th round pick on January 11th, 2019.
Koekkoek was originally a 10th overall pick by the Lightning in the 1st round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He was coming off a shoulder surgery and ended up having two further surgeries before ever making it to the NHL. Koekkoek was drafted with an eye toward being a #2 or #3 puck moving defenseman, but his offense never came around enough in the NHL.
The Lightning took the opportunity to swap him out for the older Jan Rutta who proved to be a solid defenseman that has mostly played with Victor Hedman since coming over in the trade.
With a contract extension in his back pocket, we haven’t seen his last trade as the person in charge of the Lightning. His latest trade was a straight salary dump as he sent Lightning legend Tyler Johnson and a 3rd round pick to Chicago for Brent Seabrook’s contract. While it was a trade that had to be done, hopefully his next one is a little more exciting and keeps the Lightning on the path to another Stanley Cup.