The Red Wings have started wheeling and dealing, shipping goalie Petr Mrazek to the Flyers for a package of conditional draft picks.
That has shifted focus to a potential Lightning target, Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, who is expected to be moved by Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.
What would the price be? Well, Detroit GM Ken Holland told reporters in Detroit today that his priority is acquiring draft picks.
The Lightning has all of their picks for the next three seasons, and a deep prospect pool. Tampa Bay would likely pick late in the first round, though it's not believed a first-rounder is a requirement in a Green deal.
Green has a full no-trade clause but seemed intrigued by the Lightning when I spoke to him for our story last week examining whether he'd be a good fit.
"They're an incredible team," Green told the Times. "They've got all the pieces."
The Lightning has a lot of admirers of Green, including captain Steven Stamkos and coach Jon Cooper.
"He's very cerebral," Cooper said. "You watched in the All-Star Game, the way he's scoring, the way he can move the puck, it's just effortless. He's somebody that's been doing it for a long time in this league. He seems to be able to create everywhere he goes. He's been in the league for a while, but he's sure a hell of a player still."
There are other options out there. The Lightning has been scouting Columbus a lot this season, and the Blue Jackets have depth on defense, including left-shot Jack Johnson, who requested a trade in the fall. Assistant GM Pat Verbeek has been a regular in Columbus, including Friday night. The Lightning knows Johnson well, with assistant Todd Richards coaching him for five years in Columbus.
"He's a great kid, works hard," Richards said. "Plays the game right."
One defenseman came off the market Tuesday with Erik Gudbranson signing a three-year, $12-million deal with Vancouver. The Rangers also traded a left-shot defenseman — not Ryan McDonagh — but 30-year-old Nick Holden to Boston for a third-rounder and prospect.
As for the big fish in the Senators' Erik Karlsson — whom the Lightning will face Thursday in Ottawa — TSN insider Darren Dreger reported today there's a low-percentage chance the captain is traded by deadline.
"A more plausible target for (Karlsson) trade is the summer.. if at all," Dreger tweeted. "Return would be enormous, or no deal."
Would have to imagine that in any Karlsson deal with Tampa Bay, the Senators would start with Mikhail Sergachev or Brayden Point, and those two are believed to be untouchable. I asked Yzerman specifically about Sergachev and Point last week, and he told me, "We would want to add to our team, not go sideways."
Don't see Yzerman making a big overpay at deadline. He was pretty strong in his comments on deadline moves not guaranteeing a Cup.
We'll see. Six days to go.
"We might go into the deadline without doing anything to our team. And we'd be happy with that," Tyler Johnson said. "We like the guys here, we have the guys we want."
The Senators placed forward Gabriel Dumont on waivers Tuesday, but there's no guarantee he returns to Tampa Bay, which had lost him on waivers earlier this season.
To get Dumont back, at least to AHL Syracuse, the Lightning would have to put in a claim by noon Wednesday. Dumont had a hard time cracking the Lightning lineup earlier this season, though his faceoff forte could come in handy (or his veteran presence for Syracuse).
LW Ondrej Palat (lower body) skated at the end of the Lightning's morning skate today in Washington. It's encouraging he's on the trip, but he would seem to be at least a week or two away from returning. Palat, injured Jan. 20, was expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
G Peter Budaj (lower body), who had been skating on his own in Tampa, joined Syracuse for practice today. Friday will mark the eight-week mark in his 6-8 week recovery.
G Andrei Vasilevskiy will start for the Lightning against the Capitals, who will start Braden Holtby. … The Lightning hasn't won in Washington since a 1-0 shootout victory on the last day of the 2013-14 season, dropping five in a row in D.C. … D Andrej Sustr is sporting 23 stitches on his face after his visor cut him in a fight Saturday. Sustr said he got cut from the lower left side of his nose nearly all the way up to his eye. "I feel fortunate, honestly," he said.