The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded defenseman Radko Gudas, a conditional first-round pick and a third-round pick in the 2015 draft to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Braydon Coburn. The Lightning also dealt winger Brett Connolly to the Boston Bruins for the Bruins second-round pick in 2015 and their second rounder in 2016.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning were in the market for an experienced blueliner after losing Gudas to a season-ending knee injury and Matt Carle to abdominal injury. Coburn is a big, experienced shutdown defenseman who is logging over 20 minutes per game this season and should prove a solid acquisition for the Lightning. He’s also not a playoff rental as he has a year remaining on his contract worth an annual cap hit of $4.5 million. Gudas, 24, is an aggressive (and affordable) open-ice hitter whose style of play should make him a good fit on the Flyers blueline.
The Bruins have been in the market for a right winger for some time this season. Connolly, 22, has 12 goals and 15 points this season and can play either wing. He’s a restricted free agent and could be an affordable re-signing for the Bruins. Connolly struggled to play up to expectations with the Lightning. Perhaps a change of scenery will help him get on track. This move also suggests the Bruins are no longer pursuing Buffalo’s Chris Stewart, perhaps because the Sabres asking price was too high.