Monday, July 16, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning players on alert until 3:01 p.m. Monday

BOSTON — With the trade deadline looming at 3 p.m. today, Lightning players are watching with interest to see if GM Steve Yzerman joins other teams in making moves.

"At this time of year I think we are all checking Twitter and all that nonsense," C Brian Boyle said. "We are aware of what is going on. The speculation is fun to look at. The trades are interesting, and anybody can go anywhere, really. You just wait for that 3:01 p.m. (today)."

Yzerman has said he prefers to deal suspended RW Jonathan Drouin "sooner than later" and has talked to a lot of teams about the 2013 No. 3 overall draft pick, who requested a trade in December and was suspended last month after refusing to play until traded. Ten to 12 teams are believed to have shown interest. Yzerman has to decide if any of the offers makes it worth his while to trade Drouin now.

"The decision might be, we are going to pass," Yzerman said. "And when I talk to these teams, they are just concepts, and both parties generally say, 'We'll look at it, we'll think about it.' Teams are watching and scouting. … We'll make our decisions over the weekend."

Though Yzerman said he would like to improve his power play at the deadline, coach Jon Cooper said he's comfortable with the group he has.

"We're coming into our own," Cooper said. "I don't think anybody on this team is sitting there on pins and needles thinking they are going to get moved. This is our group, and we've gone far in the past with this group, and we feel like we can do the same thing in the future."

HEDDY OKAY: The Lightning caught a break with D Victor Hedman playing in Sunday's 4-1 against the Bruins after having not been able to finish Friday's win against the Devils due to an upper-body (hand/wrist) injury. Hedman said he was "100 percent" and needed no additional tests. "It feels way better now," he said. "Happy it wasn't anything too serious."

MEDICAL MATTERS: D Jason Garrison reaches the three-week mark today of the expected three- to five-week recovery period from his lower-body injury. Garrison could return tonight against the Maple Leafs or Thursday in Ottawa. "He's progressing really well, much better than we anticipated," Cooper said.

LINING UP: The Lightning used the same lineup Sunday as Friday, which meant RW Erik Condra and D Matt Taormina were healthy scratches. After being a healthy scratch for a good chunk of January and early February, RW Jonathan Marchessault has played in seven consecutive games. "Bottom line is he earned it with his play and his compete," Cooper said. "Good for him."

NUTS AND BOLTS: Boyle, from Hingham, Mass., said he got to hang out with a lot of his family on Saturday's off day in Boston, and wife Lauren flew up, too. "It was kind of a hectic day, but it was fun," Boyle said. "We had a few errands to do. My wife came up. So it was a long day, but it went by fast."

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