It has once again been a busy offseason for the Tampa Bay Lightning. As the summer has gone on and the news around the NHL has slowed down, so has the news around the Lightning.
Between trading away Ryan McDonagh and making noise by extending a trio of young players to eight year deals, the Lightning have had another offseason to remember.
Each summer, the questions seem to be even greater than the last regarding which players will have to be salary cap casualties and who will be able to stay. Well, this time those casualties were McDonagh and Ondrej Palat.
But with things now pretty deep into the summer, is the Lightning’s work done for this offseason?
More than likely, the Lightning are done for most part this summer. There will likely not be another big move to be made. Tampa Bay will currently have a cap compliant lineup come opening night with Anthony Cirelli and Zach Bogosian expected to miss the start of the season with shoulder surgeries. Even when they return, the club will still be about $300,000 over the cap.
With both of these guys expected to be back not too far into the season, it is hard to imagine squeezing anybody else into this roster.
One of the bigger topics of conversation around the organization was if Alex Killorn would be traded this offseason. It looks like the chances for that have come and gone now as it looks like Killorn will play out the final season of his existing contract here in Tampa Bay despite having a disappointing run this past playoffs.
The only noteworthy sort of action you may see Tampa Bay take would be taking a swipe at one of the remaining free agents on a very cheap, one year contract.
Some notable @NHL UFAs who still don’t have a deal signed yet.
🔹 Nazem Kadri
🔹 John Klingberg
🔹 Phil Kessel
🔹 P.K. Subban
🔹 Paul Stastny
Where do you want to see these players sign? 🤔 #NHLFreeAgency
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 25, 2022
One of the headliners among that group of players would be Phil Kessel. The 34 year old Kessel just finished off an eight year deal at an AAV of $8 Million. Kessel could probably still get more money on the open market than he could in Tampa Bay despite the opportunity to contend for the Stanley Cup again.
A recent transaction that might make you think the Lightning may give out a late summer, cheap contract was when they brought in Pat Maroon in 2019. Maroon did not sign with the Lightning until August 24th of that summer for $900,000 for one season.
So if there is anything left that Julien Brisbois and the Lightning may be up to the rest of the summer, there is likely not much with the exception of maybe taking a chance on an extremely cheap free agent. Even then, it is still hard to see that happening with the Lightning strapped to the cap as much as they are. But, with this management team, you truly never know.