BUFFALO — In the ultimate hours earlier than immediately’s 3 p.m. commerce deadline, the Lightning actually aren’t completed making an attempt to improve their roster.
On deadline day, the crew appeared targeted on buying one other defenseman to enhance its blue line.
Their main obstacles — depleted commerce property and little salary-cap area — stay, although the Lightning made a roster transfer to assist the latter Friday morning.
One day after selling right-shot defenseman Darren Raddysh from AHL Syracuse, Tampa Bay reassigned him to the minors after he made his NHL season debut in Thursday night time’s additional time loss to Pittsburgh.
Raddysh performed 11:38 with two photographs and three hits however made a expensive puck-possession error in his personal zone and allowed Penguins ahead Drew O’Connor to drive previous him to the entrance of the online for a go-ahead objective within the third interval.
With Raddysh again within the minors, it supplies the Lightning with simply lower than $1.27 million of cap area to amass a participant. For an acquisition to be of main significance, the Lightning probably will need assistance overlaying the contract of any participant they purchase or transfer wage from their current roster.
That’s as a result of they unloaded 5 draft picks, together with a first-round choice in 2025 — in addition to defenseman Cal Foote — to amass ahead Tanner Jeannot from Nashville. They paid a worth for a high-demand participant with a low cap hit ($850,000) and controllability past this season.
Now, the Lightning haven’t any larger than a sixth-round decide to deal within the upcoming draft and no first-rounders till 2026. Their highest decide in 2024 is a third-rounder.
They made a transfer Wednesday, dealing ahead Vladislav Namestnikov, who misplaced his spot within the lineup when the crew acquired Jeannot, to San Jose for a flier on ahead Michael Eyssimont to be the crew’s thirteenth ahead. The transfer additionally offered a cap-space bump, with San Jose taking 50 % of Namestnikov’s $2.5 million hit. San Jose flipped Namestnikov to Winnipeg for a fourth-round decide Friday morning.
On the ice, Tampa Bay has struggled defensively of late, permitting 4 or extra objectives in 4 of its final 5 video games, all the 4 leading to losses.
The Lightning need assistance on the precise aspect of their blue line. They moved Foote, a former first-rounder who they hoped would attain his potential however as an alternative had grow to be largely relegated to a wholesome scratch. Top right-shot defenseman Erik Cernak left Thursday’s recreation and didn’t return, and head coach Jon Cooper had no replace on him following the sport. They gave Raddysh a glance however determined he’s not of speedy assist.
One participant to observe is Anaheim right-shot defenseman John Klingberg, who has been bantered in commerce talks however remained with the Ducks going into deadline day. The Lightning know Klingberg properly from his days as a prime defenseman with Dallas — the Lightning confronted the Stars within the Stanley Cup remaining in 2020, and the groups performed one another eight occasions within the realigned divisions in 2020-21.
Follow all of the motion on and off the ice
Subscribe to our free Lightning Strikes publication
We’ll ship you information, evaluation and commentary on the Bolts weekly through the season.
You’re all signed up!
Want extra of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get began.
Explore all of your choices
Klingberg is a protracted (6-foot-3, 191 kilos) bodily defenseman whose inventory suffered enjoying on a foul Anaheim crew, and since he’s on a one-year deal the Ducks want to get one thing for him. He was held out of Wednesday’s recreation for commerce causes.
The drawback with Klingberg is that he carries a $7 million cap hit, so the Lightning both would wish assist overlaying his contract from each Anaheim and a 3rd crew or want to maneuver out important cap area from their current roster.
This story can be up to date.
• • •
Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly publication from Bolts beat author Eduardo A. Encina that brings you nearer to the ice.
Never miss out on the most recent with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida school sports activities and extra. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports activities crew on Twitter and Facebook.