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Lightning Round: Cost vs Return on Tanner Jeannot

Here’s what I think about the trade.

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2022 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series - Tampa Bay Lightning v Nashville Predators
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - FEBRUARY 26: Cal Foote #52 of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tanner Jeannot #84 of the Nashville Predators vie for the puck along the side boards during the second period of the 2022 NHL Stadium Series game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators at Nissan Stadium on February 26, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning have lost the trade deadline arms race in the Atlantic Division with a few days to go before the trade deadline. Julien BriseBois shot his shot on Tanner Jeannot, who is probably going to work well on the third or fourth line but is limited in his impact. And he’s all they got after essentially trading away an entire season’s draft class.

On the north side of the arms race, the Bolts direct rival in Toronto sent away the same picks, plus an extra first, and got back four players to bolster the team, including a top-six forward and a top-four defender. They weren’t afraid to push down their depth that was just doing alright for guys who are overqualified for their roles. Tampa Bay didn’t do that, even though they could.

The Lightning did not need to pay a premium for a low cap hit because as we’ve been saying in the lead-up to the deadline the Lightning could fit $3 million under the cap without trying very hard. Even without paying to get rid of Myers they could fit $1.5m to $2.3m depending on whether the return coming in had replaced Fleury on defense, too. All of Toronto’s acquisitions came in at or under $2 million.

I read Julien BriseBois’ press conference and his justification had two main parts. The first part was justifying the draft picks aren’t going to help this team right now when they need it. This part is true and I completely agree that picks don’t matter when the top of the lineup is here now. But what needs to come back still needs to be fair value. It’s obvious from other team’s reactions that JBB didn’t need to spend this much for this trade, and many are calling it David Poile’s final gift to the team as he’s set to retire as Predators GM. It is not a good thing to be on the wrong side of that phrase.

The second part was that he really liked the player’s style and he wants to extend him long term. I don’t have a problem with Jeannot the player, and I’m hopeful he’s going to do well in the bottom six, but compared to the players driving the bus on the team, he’s a secondary guy and not even a center. Wanting to overpay on cost and then overpay on term deals for depth wingers isn’t an effective way to manage the cap when free agency can get you the same guys for about a million each summer. If the Lightning feel they have an issue attracting free agents, that’s a conversation for another day.

If I’m being completely honest, this trade could’ve been Foote for Jeannot straight up and I don’t think anyone would’ve blinked an eye at the cost. Two depth guys who are about 25, RFAs, having bad seasons getting a change of scenery. The fact all that draft capital wasn’t spent on more is a tough pill to swallow.

The Leafs acquired Jake McCabe and Sam Lafferty (both with contracts for next season and McCabe for another two) from Chicago for a first, second, and two depth players currently in the AHL.

A former Syracuse Crunch defender from the pandemic season is now in Buffalo.

This isn’t what you think it is, the Canucks are leaking that they’re going to be taking on a quarter of Kane’s contract as the double retention team. Also, he’s going to the New York Rangers.