Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Trade might be tough to pull off for Lightning

Without doing anything at all before Wednesday's 3 p.m. trade deadline, the Lightning is set to make a huge addition to its lineup.

Because if all goes as hoped, star center Steven Stamkos, out 44 games with a broken right tibia, will be back in action as soon as Thursday at home against the Sabres.

Perhaps that is why general manager Steve Yzerman was so non-committal about what he might do before the deadline.

"If there was something other than Stammer coming back we would look at it," he said.

As it always seems to be with Tampa Bay, a top-four defenseman is at the top of the wish list. But Yzerman is in a difficult position when it comes to pulling off that kind of trade.

With what appears a lessening chance of trading captain Marty St. Louis — it is believed he would waive his no-move clause to go to the Rangers — and a reluctance to deal away promising youngsters such as Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Radko Gudas, Mark Barberio and Nikita Kucherov, Yzerman has little with which to pull off a move for high-end return.

Yzerman said he is not opposed to trading prospects or minor-leaguers which, by association, makes former first-round picks Brett Connolly and Vlad Namestnikov potentially interesting chips.

But as Yzerman reminded, "Generally, teams aren't trading guys in their prime or guys with term on their contracts for young guys who are playing well in the minors. You're not getting an NHL player for a kid you've got in the minors. They're part of a bigger package, maybe."

In other words, Yzerman said, "I'm not sure if I have the ability to do anything to improve the team right now."

There are high-impact defensemen who could be had in trade, though each comes with caveats. For instance:

• The Islanders' Andrew MacDonald, 27, plays in all situations, leads all defensemen with 198 blocked shots and the prorated portion of his $575,000 salary would be a steal. But his contract is up, there is no guarantee he will sign and Yzerman, generally, doesn't go in for rentals.

• Buffalo's Christian Ehrhoff, 31, who recently submitted a list of eight teams to which he would accept a trade (no word if the Lightning is included) is strong offensively, weaker in the defensive zone and has seven years on his contract. That is a long time to get locked in.

• Vancouver's Alex Edler, 27, who also plays in all situations, has five years left on his deal with an annual $5 million cap hit.

Players such as those aren't given away, either, which brings us back to what Yzerman can offer, especially if St. Louis is committed to moving only to New York.

Will Yzerman be satisfied with his addition of depth defenseman Mike Kostka, whom he claimed off waivers? Does Gudas' injury, if serious, change Yzerman's calculation?

"I'm not going to do something just to do it," Yzerman said. "This team has played hard. These young guys, our veterans, have done a very good job, goaltending has been solid. So if (we have) the same group after the trade deadline, I'm very pleased with the team."

Especially with Stamkos about to return.

Gudas out: Gudas likely will miss tonight's game with the Blues at Scottrade Center because of a lower-body injury sustained in Sunday's 6-3 loss at Colorado. He is day-to-day and will be reevaluated Wednesday back in Tampa, Yzerman said. Gudas left in the second period favoring his left leg after colliding with an Avalanche player.

Move: Goalie Anders Lindback was recalled from AHL Syracuse after a two-game conditioning stint. Kristers Gudlevskis was sent to the Crunch.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

 
Comments
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Published: 06/19/18
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Published: 06/19/18
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...
Published: 06/18/18
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