We should all sit back in awe of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s ability to extend their shelf life as contenders. The Bolts have made the Stanley Cup Finals in three straight seasons, winning back-to-back titles before losing to the Colorado Avalanche in this year’s championship series. What’s facilitated that success is the constant lineup tinkering the team’s brass does as they navigate the challenges of a flat cap era.
The Lightning pulled off another deal ahead of the free agency period, trading Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Philippe Myers and Grant Mismash,
We have acquired defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Grant Mismash from Nashville in exchange for Ryan McDonagh.https://t.co/CuiUSq32qS— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 3, 2022
McDonagh was a workhorse for the Lightning this season, averaging the third-most minutes per game while skating across all strengths.
Conversely, Myers played in just 27 games with the Preds this year, recording one goal and three assists.
As noted by Elliotte Friedman, the Lightning can buy out Myers for immediate cap relief. In doing so, they would earn a $617,000 credit this season and then owe $633,000 in 2023-24. That affords them some flexibility before they finagle another team-friendly trade next season.
On Philippe Myers, acquired by TB in the McDonagh deal: he’s a unique contract case. If bought out, Lightning will have a $617K credit next season, then owe $633K in 2023-24.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 3, 2022
With the trade, the Lightning are still nearly $1 million above next season’s salary cap. Moving on from Myers would clear $2.5 million worth of salary off the books, with the credit that would give them just over $2.2 million to work with.
For now, Tampa Bay sits near the top of the Stanley Cup futures board at FanDuel Sportsbook, currently tied for the third-best odds at +1000.