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Brandon Hagel acquired by Tampa Bay Lightning

A huge move by JBB.

Boston Bruins v Chicago Blackhawks
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 15: Brandon Hagel #38 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring against the Boston Bruins in the third period at United Center on March 15, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made a huge move ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring forward Brandon Hagel from Chicago at a big cost. Hagel, who is only 23-years-old, is controlled for at least the next three years including this one at $1.5 million, after which he’ll still be an RFA.

Hagel has 21 goals in 55 games this season and has very strong impacts already. His biggest strength is finishing skill, so he’ll be a great trigger man within the top-six next to Brayden Point or Steven Stamkos. As a right winger, he’ll likely take the spot of Anthony Cirelli (unless he’s part of the deal), sending him to the third line, strengthening the bottom six.

Kevin Papetti, who is an analyst I respect, wrote about Hagel for a Leafs blog, turning over his game and what he can bring to a playoff team. He’s not just a shot, he’s gnarly and relentless. Exactly what the Tampa Bay Lightning love. [Maple Leafs Hot Stove]

“He reminds me a bit of Michael Bunting as a slightly undersized left-winger with a fearless style of play. He’s rarely the fastest or strongest player on his line, but he’s not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice and he’s skilled enough to play with his team’s best players. His most common linemates this season are Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. He’s also played on both special-teams units.”

Here are some more writings from Shayna, billing Brandon Hagel as the next Blake Coleman. Two more years after this one for $1.5 million or less!

One of the many reasons why Hagel is costing so much is because of his age, cap hit, and control after this contract. Those aspects are a huge boost to contending teams like the Lightning. Think of the flexibility the Lightning had with Coleman and Goodrow being cost-controlled. The player is good, and will provide a lot of value, but the contract control in a cap world is great.

[Update 1]

The Cost

The Tampa Bay Lightning have all their first round picks for the next three years. Safe to assume at least 2022 and possibly even 2023 are gone.

[Update 2]

First reported by Buccigross (I don’t know who they are, forgive me), but here is the trade from Seravalli as well. 2023 first round pick, 2024 first round pick, Taylor Raddysh, and Boris Katchouk. The Lighting keep their first for this year. Hagel coming back the other way with a 2022 fourth round pick and a 2024 fourth round pick.

[Update 3]

Just to put a bow on the trade. No retained salary. The Lightning brought in $1.5 million with Hagel, and sent out $1.516 million in Raddysh and Katchouk. The Lightning are now in a 12 forward, 7 defender, 2 goalie roster arrangement ahead of the roster expansion.

As I mentioned in today’s Lightning Round, getting someone like Mathieu Perreault will allow the Lightning to have a good bottom six player on the team as an extra forward without an additional cap or roster charge. If not Perreault, they can do this with Gemel Smith, Gabriel Dumont, or the other players in Syracuse.

[Update 4]

I hope this is the final update, but Julien BriseBois has put in a fail-safe for the Lightning in case they implode for a year like they did in 2017. If the Lightning fall into the top-10 in the 2023 or 2024 drafts, they’ll be able to take the picks back and will instead give Chicago their pick in 2025. Remember, 2024 is the last year of Steven Stamkos’ contract where he’ll be 34, and the second last year of Hedman’s deal where he’ll be 33.

Thoughts

  • Tampa Bay Lightning fans will love Brandon Hagel
  • We have spent a long time with Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk. They were drafted six years ago back in 2016! A lot has changed in that time. Now, these two former prospects are 24 years old, past waivers exemption, and the 12th and 13th forwards respectively on this team. Both did a great job resurrecting what I thought were lost careers in the AHL, but at the end of the day they aren’t going to be much more than what they are now. To Tampa, them in this deal is the opportunity to open up roster spots. They aren’t considered “former second round picks” anymore, that value is gone.
  • The cost is a lot on its face, but this player isn’t a rental and the Lightning are paying the cap hit and term taxes
  • Win now, win now, win now. As much as those draft picks are valuable, they’re ideally going to be 32nd overall or close to it. And from recent Lightning drafting history, they haven’t found very much value with their higher picks anyway.
  • I think Steven Stamkos has the right mindset here for this team. They aren’t going to be better later, they are amazing now. The rebuild will suck in a few years, but the rings will make it all feel better. Even if the Lightning don’t threepeat, it’s always better to have tried and failed than to have backed down and given up on these last few years of Stamkos and Hedman in their late primes. Brayden Point, the young superstar, is 26 already, these are the years for him too. Same with 28-year-old Kucherov.

What do you think of the trade? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Poll

What do you think of the trade?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    LOVE IT
    (192 votes)
  • 41%
    Great move, heavy price
    (175 votes)
  • 7%
    Still just reeling at the price
    (30 votes)
  • 4%
    Who is this Hagel guy?
    (18 votes)
  • 1%
    Hate it for Raddysh/Katchouk gone
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Hate it for the picks gone
    (3 votes)
423 votes total Vote Now