It would seem if the Tampa Bay Lightning has finally kicked into high gear when it comes to preparing for the July 1st opening of the NHL Free Agency period. In one of their first moves of the night, the Lightning traded right wing Teddy Purcell to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for center Sam Gagner.
Purcell has been a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning since the 2009-10 season.
Last season, Purcell played in all but one of the games the Lightning played. In that amount of time, he was able to score 12 goals and 30 assists for a total of 42 points. He also notched 1 goal in the four games the Bolts played in the post season.
Unfortunately, his last two seasons with the Bolts have been a bit of a drop off from the two before it. Purcell has gone from having 51 and 65 point seasons to having 36 and 42 point seasons.
This move is sad on a personal level as Purcell has always been a standup guy who has always treated fans in the Bolts Nation with respect; however, at the end of the day, when it comes to contracts and team building, it is your performance on the ice that matters the most.
Normally, this is the part where I would tell you a little bit more about the newest member of the Bolts Nation; however, Gagner is no longer a member of the Bolts Nation.
Soon after the Purcell trade was announced, the team made yet another move when they traded both Gagner and Lightning right wing B.J. Crombeen to the Arizona Coyotes for a sixth round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
It would seem as if Yzerman is planning something big for July 1st. The real question here is what?
We all know that Yzerman is still looking for a goaltender to serve as backup for Ben Bishop; however, there is always the possibility that prospect goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis may be called upon to fill that role next season.
There are so many questions that are left unanswered, but with the NHL Free Agency period right around the corner, I have a sneaking suspicion we don’t have much longer to wait.
What are your thoughts on the first of tonight’s many moves? What are some of your favorite moments with Teddy Purcell? What do you think Yzerman has in store for July 1st? Let us know what you think in the comments below.