Updates on the Lightning and Panthers – April 17, 2017

by | Apr 17, 2017 | Rumors | 31 comments

Could the Tampa Bay Lightning trade Jonathan Drouin for a top-four defenseman?

Re-signing Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin could be a challenge for the Tampa Bay Lightning plus updates on the Florida Panthers in your NHL rumor mill. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith wonders how the Tampa Bay Lightning, with their limited salary-cap space, can afford to re-sign restricted free agent forwards Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin.

Smith believes it’ll be difficult to re-up the trio to long-term deals when they must also add a backup goalie and a top-four defenseman. One way to free up some cap space could be swinging a deal with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, perhaps by moving a contact such as defenseman Jason Garrison’s. 

Smith believes Palat is a sure signing and could be the first one re-signed. He also thinks they can work something out with Johnson, though the emergence of young center Brayden Point give the Lightning a solid backup plan at center.

As for Drouin, Smith wouldn’t be surprised if he’s shopped before the NHL draft. He cites rumors claiming the young winger was part of a package offer to the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk before he was dealt to the Washington Capitals. He also claims teams such as the Blues and Nashville Predators kicked the tires on Drouin prior to this year’s trade deadline. 

Smith believes Drouin could prove too expensive for the Bolts to re-sign, as he could seek a long-term deal worth $6 million per season. The young winger could fetch the Lightning that top-four defenseman they need. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: it’ll be interesting to see how Bolts general manager Steve Yzerman handles this situation. He’s been able to get several core players (Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman) to accept less than market value to stay with the Lightning.

The Bolts hold the leverage with the 22-year-old Drouin, who’s coming off an entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. Yzerman could push him to accept a two- or three-year bridge deal with the promise of a more lucrative contract down the road.

However, if the Lightning GM tried to use Drouin in a failed attempt to land Shattenkirk back in January, perhaps the skids are already greased for the winger’s departure in June. There could be some lingering bad blood over Drouin’s attempt to force a trade midway through last season.

 If Yzerman decides to re-sign Drouin, Johnson could become a trade candidate. The emergence of Point this season could make the 26-year-old center available. 

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Pending unrestricted free agent winger Thomas Vanek is hoping to re-sign with the Florida Panthers. Acquired by the Panthers at the trade deadline, the 33-year-old winger couldn’t help them reach the playoffs. He has two goals and 10 points in 20 games with the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers have over $60 million invested in 16 players for next season, though that will drop when they lose a player in the June expansion draft. His future with the Panthers could depend upon how much they invest in re-signing UFA winger Jaromir Jagr and restricted free agents Alex Petrovic and Mark Pysyk. Vanek is coming off a one-year, $2.6 million deal and could seek a two-year deal worth $3 million annually. 


  1. I remember reading a report that Jagr is unlikely to resign in Florida. Anyone else read that too? I cant remember where I saw it. I could see Vanek filling the void there.

    • yeah… he is resigning in Pittsburgh for cheap to complete the circle of hockey.

    • I think the Panthers will give him one more year with healthy Huberdeau and Barkov

    • I’m quite confident Jagr will stay. He wants ice time, he wants to play. No other competitive, talented team can offer those minutes.

  2. I guess that I still think something between the Blues and Bolts will happen–Armstrong and Stevie Y spent some quality time together. Maybe Tyler Johnson to St. Louis for a 1st rounder and more?

  3. I think Yzerman will trade Ryan Callahan.

    • Now THAT’S a deal for which I’d like to see the details!! The guy’s 32 y/o, a relative smurf at 5′ 10″ 180 lbs and for a cap smack of $5,800,000 (which runs to 2020-21) he’s contributed all of 42 goals and 55 assists in 188 games played for TB over 4 seasons and is coming off a serious injury which saw him play all of 18 games this season. Stevie Y would have to withhold $4 mill to even get someone remotely interested. Good luck with that.

      • Which he couldn’t do. The most he could withhold of Callahan’s contract is 50%, or $2.9 million. And as of THIS exchange, he couldn’t even do that because he’s already retaining salary in two other transactions (though they both expire at the end of the “season”/July 1st)

  4. On his recent Podcast, Bob Mackenzie states he wouldn’t be surprised if Drouin isn’t moved prior to the draft

    • If that’s true, and Sakic has ANY negotiating ability, he should be cobbling together a deal which Yzerman couldn’t refuse just to re-united Drouin with McKinnon.

      • But it sure as hell won’t involves Callahan.

      • Drouin and Callahan for Zadorov and a 3rd

      • in response to the comments below; I doubt Callahan waives his NMC to go to Colorado. Tampa will still be a legit contender next year even if they lose TyJo and/or Drouin (and add a top 2/4 D)

      • Tampa needs a top 4 D and so do the Avs. They don’t appear to be good dance partners.

      • Callahan may waive just for a fresh start, Zadorov doesn`t quite give Tampa what they need, but for the price. Drouin maybe a little too tempting for Sakic to pass up on and take Callahan hoping a change will do him good. Colorado need fresh blood and they`re really not losing much in Zadorov

  5. Why are we even talking about Callahan moving. That isn’t happening nor is his cap hit an issue.

    TB has $18,788,333 in cap space with Callahan’s contract on the books next season at today’s cap ceiling of 73 mil, the NHL is projecting it to rise 3 mil to 76 next season it may fall nominal short of that but lets say it rises 2 mil. That’s almost 21 mil in cap space for TB next season.

    Now I’m not saying Drouin or Johnson aren’t traded but TB has the cap space to sign all 3. No way Drouin is getting more than Kucherov’s 3 year bridge deal of $4,766,667. Nor are Johnson or Palat seeing much more than that either.

    Decent comparables for these player; Johnson & Palat, are Trochek’s & Smith’s new deals in Florida signed last summer but kicking in next season, 4.75 & 5 mil respectively. Others are Rackell or even Kucherov himself. Most players are accepting the realities of the current cap world. I see both Johnson & Palat signing in or around 5 mil per on 5 on 6 year deals. Drouin will be bridged for 2 possibly 3 at 4.5 & change.

    That’s essentially 15 mil give or take a mil leaving tons of cap space. Over 6 mil to buy a back up & secure a Dman. If more is needed Garrison hits the cap at 4.6 but is only going to be paid 2.5 so if bought out he only dings the cap for a little under 900K per year for 2 years freeing up 3.7 in cap space giving TB almost 10 mil after those 3 players are signed.

    Garrison’s contract may also be appealing to other teams which struggle to meet the cap as he is only being paid 2.5 but hits the cap at 4.6 & only has 1 year remaining. He is still a top 6 regular Dman & at 2.5 that’s decent value.

    TB will also lose a player in expansion, freeing up additional cap space but not much unless that player is Garrison or Coburn. TB can bid for 1 of the 5 potential Dman available prior to expansion from teams faced with losing 1 & still accomplish all these things with cap space for next year.

    Where’s the problem? Even if signing those 3 players climbs by 3 million & closer to 20 still no cap issues to worry about. Just do the math. Yzerman is brilliant & will do what ever needs to be done to make TB better. If Drouin doesn’t like it; the bridge deal, I think he knows how that will play out. He can always ask Kucherov. He takes what’s offered or sits.

    • Sorry for the story. No know the attention span for many can’t get past 3 sentences. Tried to shorten it or break into 2 parts.

      Happy Easter.

      • Those long stories are definitely no knows Striker

      • you should try bullet points
        Something like
        – Palat & TyJo sign for 4.75-5M same as comparables like trochek and Rakell

      • @Striker yes-you can tell you are not in business, as most managers demand concise short verbiage. Not long winded with extra words.

      • Sorry Striker, didn’t mean to come off as condescending. Just a humble suggestion
        FlyerFan, those were my thoughts as well. If I were to write this email in the corporate world it would not be read and/or lose all its effectiveness. That being said, Striker talks a big game so I think he may be in a management position of sorts

      • Based on some of his use of business terms and writing style. I suspect that he has no idea how the corporate world works-and merely talks a big game

  6. How about this one. WIth the Flyers long young D and with a need of scoring wingers. A package that includes Ghost for Drouin?

    • The Ghost from 2 seasons ago – or the one that stumbled through this past season?

      • I think his off season works in the Flyers favor and will sign him at a bit of a reduced rate and he will get better. Flyers will go with pretty much the same team next season. possibly add one or two of the great young prospects they have.

    • Sam Morin and Hague will make the team this year (2017-18). But the two real studs (after Provorov) will be Sanheim and Phillip Myers-both have offensive upside will be on the team on 2018

  7. Few comments about Drouin to the AVS…I agree…Sakic should make every attempt to pitch for Drouin but rather than taking Cally he should take Garrison. Round out their top 4. Allow Johnson/Barrie to stay as the top pair.

    to AVS: Drouin, Garrison
    to TB: Colborne, Barberio, 2nd rd pick 2017 and 2nd rd pick 2018

    TB gets significant cap relief and can now sign Johnson and revamp their own D

    • AVS forward lines could then be

      Duch/Nolan Patrick/Drouin

      • If Colorado ever did land Drouin only a complete novice would not re-unite him with McKinnon on the same line.

  8. To Striker:I,for one,appreciated all that you had to say on the Bolts situation.Very knowledgeable and well written.
    To ihatecrosby:You’ve gotta be a Avs fan;the Lightning would never make that deal. Barberio??

    • its the classic ‘here is our garbage and non first round picks for this potentially elite talent. ‘

      If Drouin is going one way, Jost is coming the other.