The Tampa Bay Lightning are planning on making another run for this cup. However, they are facing the cap, so general manager Julien BriseBois will need to be smart about trades. BriseBois has already made two trades, early in February. One sent Alexei Lipanov to the Dallas Stars in exchange for left wing Tye Felhaber. Then Jimmy Huntington was sent out to the Nashville Predators in exchange for center Anthony Richard. While neither might help with a cup run, it is a look at what the Lightning are doing for the future and its affiliates.
The main issue for the Lightning when it comes to the trade deadline, as mentioned previously, is cap space. They essentially have none. They would essentially have to give up a player already on the roster to trade for someone. Despite the injuries, the coaches and front office appear to be pleased with who they have in the lineup. Here are three players that might interest the Lightning.
Make sure to check out all of our other NHL Trade Deadline Previews.
Current Record: 38-15-6
Division Standings: Second in the Pacific
Buyers or Sellers: Buyer
Taken in the expansion draft by the Seattle Kraken, Geekie has yet to reach his potential with the team. It is possible he might find a home with the Lightning. He has a great shot, and he has been driving play and setting up teammates. He just has not had a lot of luck with the puck this season.
Geekie has had time on the power play, showing that the coaches have confidence in him despite the lack of scoring. Despite the issues with scoring, he is trending in the right direction with his stats. He will make a great forward for a team in the future; whether it’s with the Kraken or a team like the Lightning remains to be seen.
Schenn is a veteran defenseman with playoff experience and a few Stanley Cup wins. Tampa Bay is set with their forwards but a little iffy on some of their defensemen. This season with the Vancouver Canucks, he has played in 44 games, getting three goals and 11 assists.
Schenn also has 67 blocks and 187 hits, and his cap hit is at $850,000. So it would not be too much of a burden on an already non-existent cap space. He has been great in terms of production for Vancouver, so if Tampa Bay wants to go and trade for him, it might cost a little more than they might expect, especially with Vancouver chasing the playoffs.
This trade would hit the Lightning hard. Lehkonen has a cap hit of $2.3 million, and even if the Montreal Canadiens were to retain half of his salary, it would still put the Lightning over the cap. In addition, they would have to give up someone to get Lehkonen, and it is uncertain if BriseBois wants to do it despite stating that anything is essentially on the table.
Lehkonen has scored 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points in 55 games this season. He has 58 hits and 14 takeaways to 13 giveaways, averaging 14:40 of ice time. While getting Lehkonen may not be feasible, if BriseBois believes that he will bolster an already great offense, he might pull the trigger for him.
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