Tampa Bay Lightning trade Peter Budaj to Los Angeles Kings

(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Lightning has traded goaltender Peter Budaj to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Andy Andreoff.

The Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender situation has been somewhat of an enigma this season. After Lightning backup goaltender Peter Budaj suffered a Lower Body Injury after a collision with Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Laughton, things became a little complicated.

Budaj was almost immediately placed on Injured Reserve, which all but confirmed the suspicion of the fans that the injury to Budaj was as serious as it looked. Little did Bolts fans know at the time, this would be one of the last times they would see Budaj take the ice in the Lightning jersey.

The Lightning recalled goaltender Louis Domingue from the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch to help Andrei Vasilevskiy carry the load during Budaj’s absence. Domingue exceeded everyone’s expectations by playing spectacularly in the 19 games he played last season.

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Peter Budaj was able to return to the lineup before the end of the regular season. Budaj would make his return on March 13, 2018, against the Ottawa Senators. Unfortunately, this game wouldn’t exactly go according to plan for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Andrei Vasilevskiy would not return to the ice for the third period of play after allowing six goals in the first 20 minutes of play. When the team took the ice for the third period, it would be Peter Budaj between the pipes. Regrettably, things didn’t get much better for the Bolts.

Budaj would allow one goal on the four shots on goal the Senators took in the third. The Lightning would make their way back to the locker room on the business end of a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators. Regrettably, this would be the last time Peter Budaj would take the ice for the Bolts.

In the regular season, Budaj played in a total of eight games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In this amount of time, Budaj maintained a record of 3-3-1 with a Goals Against Average of 3.77 and a Save Percentage of .876. These numbers were career lows for the Slovakian netminder.

Once the postseason kicked off, fans were beginning to wonder if Budaj was finally going to get a real chance. As everyone is aware by now, this never came to pass. This left everyone wondering what the future held for the 35-year-old netminder. It seems as if there is finally a little clarity on this situation.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced earlier today in a Press Release on the team’s official site the Lightning has traded Peter Budaj to the team who originally traded him to the Bolts, the Los Angeles Kings, in exchange for forward Andy Andreoff.

Andreoff was originally drafted back in 2011 by the Los Angeles Kings in the Third Round. He finally made his NHL debut in the 2014-15 season where he would play a total of 18 games. Now, after playing in the league for four seasons, he has accumulated a total of 159 games under his belt. In this amount of time, he has registered 13 goals and 11 assists for a grand total of 24 points.

Andy Andreoff could make a decent addition to the Syracuse Crunch lineup next season. He played four seasons with the Kings then-AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, and put up some pretty decent numbers.

In the 2013-14 season, he played in a total of 76 games with the Monarchs, bringing home 11 goals and 24 assists for a total of 35 points. These were career-high numbers for Andreoff at this point.

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Today’s trade is surely the first of many transactions to come over the course of the off-season. There are plenty of players who are in need of new contracts coming into the upcoming 2018-19 season. Some will stay here in the Bolts Nation; some could be making their way to new homes. It’s definitely going to be an interesting couple of months for the Tampa Bay Lightning.