TAMPA —The Jeep is moving on.
The Lightning on Saturday traded forward Barclay Goodrow’s rights to the Rangers for a seventh-round pick in next year’s draft as teams worked to finalize their protection lists and other deals in advance of Wednesday’s expansion draft for the Kraken.
Goodrow, acquired near the trade deadline last season, can be an unrestricted free agent July 28. New York has until then to make a deal with him.
Goodrow was a key piece to the Lightning’s back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, teaming with Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman to form the gritty third line that was arguably Tampa Bay’s most consistent throughout the postseason and started most of the playoff games this year.
Goodrow was also a part of the top penalty-kill unit and was often on the ice when preserving a lead in 6-on-5 play late in games. Coach Jon Cooper affectionately compared Goodrow to a Jeep during the first-round playoff win over the Panthers this year, praising his blue-collar style by saying title teams can’t be a fleet of Ferraris, they need the dependable 4-by-4 to get through the mud.
Goodrow played last season at a bargain salary of $925,000 and is in line for a significant multiyear deal. Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said last week that Goodrow was one of the players on the team who deserved a raise but he wasn’t sure he would be able to give it to him as the Lightning search for ways to get under the $81.5 million salary cap.
Advanced statistics website Evolving Hockey projects Goodrow in line for a three-year deal with an average annual value of $3.15 million if he hits free agency.
Because Goodrow can be an unrestricted free agent, he did not fall into the category of players who would be exposed in the expansion draft.
Goodrow played in 55 games for the Lightning last season and was one of their most physical players, leading Tampa Bay with 111 hits during the regular season. He also scored six goals and had 14 assists.
He had two goals and four assists in the postseason, including the winner in the Lightning’s second-round opener at Carolina.
After the Lightning won the Cup with a Game 5 win over the Canadiens in the final, Cooper said Goodrow’s block on defenseman Shea Weber’s shot, clocked at 101.6 mph, was emblematic of the physical sacrifice players exhibited on their way to a second straight title.
Goodrow skated off in pain after that play but returned for his next shift. BriseBois said Tuesday that Goodrow played with a broken hand in the postseason.
The Lightning on Saturday also signed defenseman Fredrik Claesson, who has appeared in 161 career NHL games over six seasons, to a one-year, two-way contract. The salary website Cap Friendly said the deal is for $750,000. Claesson could have been a free agent.
He played two games with Tampa Bay after coming from San Jose in a trade April 12.
• • •
The Tampa Bay Times will commemorate the Lightning’s second consecutive Stanley Cup title with a new hardcover coffee table book, Striking Twice. Pre-order now.
Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly newsletter from Bolts beat writer Eduardo A. Encina that brings you closer to the ice.