Lightning in mix with Boyle, Johnson
The Lightning is expected to be one of the more fascinating teams in free agency, which begins Tuesday at 11 a.m, thanks to a flurry of Sunday trades that give them around $13 million in cap space.
There could be some moves this afternoon, and Tampa Bay is in the mix for a few key players.
The Lightning is looking at the market for defensemen, with Penguins D Matt Niskanen, Rangers D Anton Stralman and former Tampa Bay D Dan Boyle. Niskanen was planning to narrow his finalists Monday night from a field of 10-plus teams. Tampa Bay has shown interest in Boyle, who also reportedly is considering the Red Wings and Rangers.
Another defenseman is Christian Ehrhoff, 31, who was bought out by the Sabres Sunday. Coincidentally or not, it was the same day Tampa Bay made three deals to move salaries, sending Teddy Purcell to the Oilers, B.J. Crombeen to the Coyotes and Nate Thompson to the Ducks (for a fourth and seventh round pick).
Tampa Bay's other need is back-up goalie. While it is still considering bringing back Anders Lindback, who was not given a qualifying offer from the Lightning, Tampa Bay has been one of 10 teams to check in on Bruins G Chad Johnson, who went 17-4 with a 2.10 goals against average. Other options are Martin Brodeur, Tomas Vokoun and Justin Peters.
The Lightning could also look at forwards, and after having dealt griinders like Thompson and Crombeen, might look at former Lightning center Dominic Moore.