Free agency officially opens in July, and the Tampa Bay Lightning figure to be extremely busy either trying to retain some key members from the team or find their replacements.
And while we here at Bolts by the Bay have chronicled free agents the Lightning could try and go after, there are also going to be a number of players on the market that Tampa needs to stay away from heading into the 2023-24 season.
We are factoring in what we think their production will be in 2023-24 as well as what their contract will likely be and if it makes sense for Tampa to pay that price. We are going to be using the database from AFP Analytics to roughly gauge what each player will probably cost.
Free agents for the Tampa Bay Lightning to avoid: Gustav Nyquist
- 2022-23 stats – 27 points in 51 games played (11 goals)
- 2023-24 projected salary – $3,200,000
We have chronicled before on this site that if Tampa will have around three to four million, they could spend on a free agent. With a projected rate of $3,200,000, Gustav Nyquist falls in the range of players that could very realistically sign with Tampa.
But there are a ton of red flags that come with Nyquist. He’s going to be 34 when the season starts and is coming off a season where he missed a week early in the season due to a lower-body injury and then missed the majority of the back half of the season due to a shoulder injury.
He was traded from Columbus to Minnesota and returned just in time for the playoffs. One may be intrigued, given that he did put up five points during their six-game series against Dallas.
He did have 53 points and 18 goals for Columbus during the 2021-22 campaign, but the core problem with Nyquist is that he doesn’t fit the two-way defensive mold that Tampa would need from a bottom-six forward.
That same 2021-22 season, he had just 33 hits during 5 v 5 play.
And this past season, despite having the benefit of 58% of his shifts starting while the puck was in the offensive zone and 52% of his faceoffs taking place in the offensive zone, his Corsi percentage was just 45%