Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning not done shopping for D

The Lightning made a big splash Thursday, addressing its biggest long-term need by acquiring potential top-pairing defenseman Mikhail Sergachev in the Jonathan Drouin trade to Montreal.

This move, however, was as much about the future as the present. There's no guarantee Sergachev, 18, starts next season in Tampa Bay, but he's setting up Tampa Bay for years to come with a very valuable piece (at a cap-friendly price).

And keep this in mind: GM Steve Yzerman doesn't sound like he's done shopping for a defenseman who could have an immediate impact.

There could even be some more action by Saturday's 2 p.m. roster freeze, which runs through Wednesday's expansion draft in Las Vegas. There are many established defensemen that be available this weekend, teams with protection list issues not wanting to lose them to expansion Vegas for nothing.

Yzerman said Thursday's deal for Sergachev doesn't preclude him from acquiring another defenseman. The Lightning may not have top trade chip in Drouin, but still has depth at forward, and a strong prospect pool to work with. And Tampa Bay has some more cap flexibility, too.

"We'll look at anything," Yzerman said. "(Sergachev) doesn't take me out of trying to acquire another defenseman. If another defenseman is out there and a fit and makes us better, we'd look at it for sure."

Who could the Lightning target? You can start with teams who need to move a defenseman before the expansion draft.

Matt Dumba/Jonas Brodin, Wild

The Wild reportedly was hot after Drouin, too. While that Lightning trade chip is gone, Minnesota's glut on defense is not. GM Cliff Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he's "definitely actively listening" and has received "quality trade offers" on defensemen Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba. Dumba, 22, is a right-shot defenseman who has just one year left on his contract (at an affordable $2.55 million) before becoming a restricted free agent next summer. Brodin, 23, a left-shot, is under contract through 2020-21 with an annual cap hit of $4.16 million.

Minnesota is likely looking for a forward in return, and there will be no shortage of suitors, especially for Brodin.

Associated Press

Matt Dumba has just one year left on his contract before becoming a restricted free agent next summer.

Associated Press

Jonas Brodin, who likely will have plenty of suitors, is under contract through 2020-21.

Sami Vatanen, Ducks

Vatanen is likely going to be squeezed out by the Ducks due to its depth on the blueline, and will be out four to five months following shoulder surgery. But he's still a solid option as a right-shot defenseman, a 26-year old who carries a $4.875 million cap hit through 2019-20. The injury hasn't stopped teams from being interested in Vatanen, who could also be pursued by the likes of the Devils and Maple Leafs.

Whether the Lightning would have the necessary pieces remains to be seen, but prospects could be helpful since they won't have to be exposed in the expansion draft.

Associated Press

Shoulder surgery hasn't diminished other teams' interest in Anaiem's Sami Vatanen.

Travis Hamonic/Calvin de Haan, Islanders

Another right-shot defenseman, Hamonic also boasts some size, at 6-2, 205 pounds, an alternate captain with the Islanders. He carries a $3.85 million cap hit through 2019-20. He's coming off a rough season (14 points, minus-21), but Calvin de Haan had his best one (25 points, plus-15). Both could be second-pair caliber defensemen. De Haan is an RFA this summer.

The Islanders are also likely looking for some scoring punch.

There could even be other defensemen who are available — who saw the Sergachev return coming? But the point is, Yzerman's busy summer has only begun.

Getty Images

The Islanders' Calvin de Haan has mixed it up with Lightning players in the past.

Douglas R. Clifford | Times

Travis Hamonic, an alternate captain with the Islanders, didn't have his best season recently.

Joe Smith can be reached at Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Lightning not done shopping for D 06/16/17 [Last modified: Friday, June 16, 2017 11:44am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20


    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  2. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay


    Armwood High School quarterback Devin Black (7) hands the ball off to running back Larry Anderson (13) during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  3. Ex-Florida Gators QB Treon Harris will start at Tennessee State


    Former Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris is a starter again.

    At Tennessee State.

  4. Do Rays, Corey Dickerson have a 'second wind'?

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was the time in late May when Corey Dickerson hit a ball that bounced in front of the plate, swatted it for a double. He hit anything that moved wherever it moved. He was that good.

    Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Corey Dickerson (10) gets beat to the bag on the throw to first to end the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
  5. Bucs position battles; Defining the receiver competition


    TAMPA — The Bucs' top four receivers are etched in granite with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin.

    Bucs wide receiver Josh Huff makes a juggling catch as cornerback Robert McClain closes in Tuesday at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]