TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) One way or another Wednesday night, the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are going to lose a player.
It is the eve of the NHL’s Expansion Draft for the league’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken.
Dan Lucas joined lightninginsider.com’s Erik Erlendsson to discuss the possibilities that await the Lightning, as well as other teams that are preparing for the first expansion draft since 2017 when the Vegas Golden Knights entered the NHL.
That year, the Lightning brokered a trade with Vegas involving defenseman Jason Garrison that preserved the remainder of the team’s list of exposed players.
There is a chance that Lightning general manager Julien BrieseBois may repeat that move although no word of an official deal will be announced until the draft is underway at 8:00 pm.
Of the exposed Lightning players, Erlendsson believes that forward Yanni Gourde may be Seattle’s best option although a core of young players is also enticing.
Forward Ross Colton and defenseman Cal Foote would be big losses for the Lightning, not only in terms of their long-term playing potential.
They are also players that are on controllable, early career contracts and losing a young, potential star would also do little to alleviate the Lightning’s dire off-season salary cap dilemma.