Tampa Bay Lightning trade Drouin to Canadiens & why it’s not the end of the world


The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded left wing Jonathan Drouin to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Mikhail Sergachev. And the world is not ending.

Theorizing about the Tampa Bay Lightning’s expansion draft protection list just got a little hairier (stay tuned, it’s on the way!), as the team has announced the trade of left winger Jonathan Drouin to the Montreal Canadiens. The Bolts acquire the rights to defensive prospect Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for the fiery forward and a conditional sixth-round pick the same year.

However, the sky is not falling. Here’s why.

While shipping off the talented 22-year-old will affect the Lightning’s offensive output, this move addresses a few things. First, the team is in need of defensive depth. Check.

The team also needs some breathing room under the salary cap and moving a restricted free agent who’s due for a raise in exchange for a kid with a few years left on his entry level contract helps conserve that.

It also takes one name off the Tampa Bay Lightning protection list for next week’s expansion draft, as Sergachev is exempt, having not yet played two years as a pro.

Drouin, for all his dash and derring-do, tended to be a possession liability. Being able to dance with the puck and bury the biscuit is great, but coughing it up on occasion at the other team’s blue line can be a serious problem.

On the other end of the deal, by all accounts, or, at least the accounts of Elite Prospects, Sergachev is a solid addition to the Tampa Bay Lightning defensive corps.

"A dominant two-way defenceman [sic] whose tenacity and competitiveness characterize his style of play. Plays with a poise and confidence that facilitates his creativity with the puck as well as split-second decision making. Naturally fluid skater who is always looking to be engaged, if not the center, of each unfolding play. All-in-all, a diligent two-way defenceman [sic] who excels at finding ways to be a difference-maker in games."

Sure, everyone who owns a “How You Drouin?” t-shirt (guilty) might be a bit bummed out, but, at the end of the day, this was a deal that helps the team. The main downside is the Lightning trading Drouin to a rival in the same conference as Tampa Bay, and it’s worse with the redemption story the kid was working on, following his public trade request in 2015.

Who got the better end of the deal remains to be seen, but the Bolts are getting what they need in this transaction.

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