Monday, June 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Expect a Lightning side deal to protect Slater Koekkoek, Jake Dotchin

TAMPA — Vegas general manager George McPhee said he has side deals with at least six other NHL teams leading up to tonight's expansion draft.

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wouldn't confirm or deny if Tampa Bay is involved in one of them. "It's not something I'd share publicly at this time," Yzerman said.

But the Lightning is expected to have a deal with the Golden Knights to ensure they stay away from one, if not both, D Slater Koekkoek and D Jake Dotchin, according to league sources. Koekkoek and Dotchin were left unprotected for the expansion draft. Tampa Bay is guaranteed to lose one player.

It makes sense for Tampa Bay to try to keep Koekkoek and Dotchin. Dotchin, 23, helped solidify the blueline's top-four in the second half of last season. Koekkoek, 23, the 10th overall pick in 2012, has played in 41 career NHL games, finishing last season with AHL Syracuse. Both are restricted free agents.

The three Lightning defensemen who were protected are Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman and Braydon Coburn. The protected forwards are Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn and Vladislav Namestnikov.

In a potential side deal with Vegas, the Lightning could use one of its promising forward prospects, or package a draft pick (Tampa Bay has two second rounders in this weekend's draft, where it picks No. 14 overall). Or a trade could involve the Lightning ensuring Vegas takes another defenseman, like Jason Garrison ($4.6 million cap hit next season) or Andrej Sustr. The most notable Lightning forwards the Golden Knights can choose from are J.T. Brown and Yanni Gourde (an unrestricted free agent).

Hedman up for Norris

It's already been an exciting summer for Hedman, who won a gold medal with Sweden at last month's World Championships.

Tonight, he is in Las Vegas for the NHL awards, a finalist for the Norris Trophy given to the league's top defenseman. Ottawa's Erik Karlsson and San Jose's Brent Burns are the favorites.

"It's obviously a tremendous honor for me," Hedman told the Tampa Bay Times. "To be there with Erik, too, playing with him when we're under 15, under-16 national teams. Kind of growing up together on that stage. And then playing in NHL and getting nominated together for the Norris, it's a good feeling."

Hedman had mixed feelings over last week's trade of Jonathan Drouin to Montreal. Hedman was bummed to lose Drouin, but excited to see what he labels a "grade-A" prospect in D Mikhail Sergachev.

"I was kind of shocked to see it at first," Hedman said of the trade. "It's a tough business. You see so many guys go. We believe in the plan we've got for our team. With the expansion draft and us being close to the cap, it's a tough business. Dru is going to have a tremendous career in the NHL."

Comments
Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz resigns as coach of Stanley Cup-winning Capitals

Barry Trotz abruptly stepped down as coach of the Washington Capitals on Monday after failing to agree to terms on a new contract, a stunning move that left the newly minted Stanley Cup champions without a coach with the draft later this week and wit...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

Lightning re-signs goaltender Eddie Pasquale to two-way deal

The Lightning re-signed goaltender Eddie Pasquale to a one-year, two-way contract general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.Pasquale, 27, split this past season between the Syracuse Crunch and Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League. He...
Published: 06/18/18
Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

Lightning opens seven-game preseason schedule at home Sept. 18

TAMPA — The Lightning will open its seven-game preseason schedule at home with a 7:30 p.m.  game Sept. 18 against the Carolina Hurricane, the team announced Thursday.That is one of three home games the Lightning will play in a preseason sc...
Published: 06/14/18
Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Lightning trades Peter Budaj to Kings, acquires forward Andy Andreoff

Sixteen months after acquiring Peter Budaj from the Kings, the Lightning today returned the veteran goaltender to Los Angeles.The Lightning traded Budaj for forward Andy Andreoff, general manager Steve Yzerman announced in a news release.Andreoff, 27...
Published: 06/13/18
Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

Lightning set as early favorite to win the Stanley Cup in 2018-19

This past season didn't end the way Lightning fans might have hoped, but that's no reason to lose hope.In fact, oddsmakers are more bullish on Tampa Bay than any team in the NHL for next season.According to at least one sports betting site, the ...
Published: 06/08/18
Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

Washington has a new hero. His name is Devante Smith-Pelly

LAS VEGAS — Before Devante Smith-Pelly could relax or breathe or even start thinking about his game-tying goal, he had to start moving his feet.The period of recall began midway through the third period Thursday night, when the Capitals trailed, 3-2....
Published: 06/08/18
Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup wait is finally over. Who has waited longer?

The Washington Capitals won the first Stanley Cup title in the franchise's 43-year history Thursday night in Las Vegas.And still the St. Louis Blues and their fans wait. The Blues marked their 50th NHL season this year; 50 years without a Cup.He...
Published: 06/08/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What could have been for the Lightning

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: What could have been for the Lightning

As the Washington Capitals celebrate their first Stanley Cup championship, Rick Stroud reflects on what could have been for the Lightning, which came within a victory of eliminating Washington in the conference final.Plus, the Rays lose in ...
Published: 06/08/18
Capitals win first Stanley Cup, eliminate Golden Knights in 5

Capitals win first Stanley Cup, eliminate Golden Knights in 5

LAS VEGAS — Alex Ovechkin put both hands to his head and screamed while he left the bench and skated into the thick of the Washington Capitals' joyous celebration. And right before Ovechkin hoisted the Stanley Cup, the Washington captain put ...
Published: 06/07/18
Updated: 06/08/18
Here’s what I remember about the Lightning’s Stanley Cup. How about you?

Here’s what I remember about the Lightning’s Stanley Cup. How about you?

You might not recognize the name, but my words were probably some of the first you read after the Lightning won its first – and, so far, only — Stanley Cup 14 years ago today.In the days before social media, email newsletters and push not...
Published: 06/07/18