3 enticing trades that will launch the Tampa Bay Lightning into serious Stanley Cup contention

The Tampa Bay Lightning don’t look like a surefire top-three team in the Atlantic Division, but adding one more puzzle piece or two could change that.

Nashville Predators v Montreal Canadiens
Nashville Predators v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Marc-Andre Fleury would be a textbook No. 2 goaltender

While the Mantha deal is the unlikeliest yet an enticing one and the Barrie deal is the more realistic of the two, Tampa could instead opt for a No. 2 goaltender. Quite a few netminders make sense here, but Marc-Andre Fleury would be the most enticing should all parties agree on a deal. 

Sure, Fleury is past his prime, but he’s a much better option than Jonas Johansson. So, as with the other two trades listed previously, the Lightning only need to find a way to make it happen. Much like the Predators and the Capitals, the Minnesota Wild are going nowhere this year, so making a trade for cap space in 2024-25 wouldn’t faze them.

Here, they would trade Fleury to the Lightning and retain 15 percent of his salary, something they have more than enough room to do. In return, the Lightning once again roll with the second-rounders in 2025 and 2026, the third-rounder for this season, plus Haydn Fleury. 

But, they will take out Barre-Boulet here and instead send off Jonas Johansson, which gives the Wild a cheap backup for the rest of the season, and perhaps even next year if they don’t land a replacement. However, if the Wild believe Filip Gustavsson can become a fully-fledged starter in 2024-25, Johansson makes for a decent backup. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of February 9th, salary info provided by Cap-Friendly)