- The Detroit Red Wings parted ways with coach Jeff Blashill this summer, and hired former Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde to fill that vacated role. Now, it seems a similar situation is playing out in Tampa. Today, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said (as relayed by The Athletic’s Joe Smith) that Blashill has taken over Lalonde’s old role in Tampa running the team’s penalty kill. Cooper also notes that with the departures of Jan Rutta, Ryan McDonagh, players like Ian Cole and Cal Foote will see roles on the penalty kill this season.
The start of the NHL season is near, and training camps across the NHL are getting started. Many leagues in Europe as well have already begun their seasons. We’ll keep track of any last-minute minor league/foreign league transactions here.
- As part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s announcement of their training camp roster, it was revealed that the team has signed goaltender Brad Barone to a PTO agreement. Barone was the starting netminder for the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears last season, and while potentially earning a contract is likely out of the cards for the 31-year-old playing goalie at the training camp of one of the best teams in the NHL will undoubtedly be the experience of a lifetime.
- Corey Trivino, a 2008 second-round pick of the New York Islanders and former star forward at Boston University, is switching teams. The forward, who has been a top scorer in the second division of German hockey for the past few seasons, has joined Eisbaren Regensburg, another DEL2 team, per a team announcement. Regensburg is currently 1-1 in the current DEL2 campaign and will hope to earn promotion to the top-tier DEL.
- Defenseman Alex Stevens, who turned pro last year after a four-year career at Pennsylvania State University, has signed a contract with the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush. Rapid City is actually where Stevens finished his 2021-22 campaign, as he also got into games for the Wheeling Nailers and Norfolk Admirals earlier in the year. The 25-year-old joins a Rush club that is looking to improve upon a strong, 36-win 2021-22 season.
This page will be updated throughout the day.
Before he’s even skated in a single game with them, the Lightning have decided to give Philippe Myers a one-year, $1.4MM contract extension. Myers was acquired by the Lightning as part of the Ryan McDonagh trade from earlier this summer. Myers’ current deal is at a $2.55MM cap hit and expires after this upcoming season.
Myers is actually an extremely interesting case going into this season, and now his situation is made even more interesting thanks to this contract extension. Once the Lightning acquired Myers, many assumed that the team would choose to buy him out. At the cost of some cap space next season, the Lightning, by buying out Myers, would actually have gotten a cap credit for this season, which is something most believed the ever cap-crunched Lightning could use this summer.
But with major extensions for Mikhail Sergachev, Erik Cernak, and Anthony Cirelli set to kick in next summer, it seems Lightning GM Julien Brisebois has decided to prioritize saving as much cap space for next summer as possible.
That’s where this extension for Myers fits in. Myers is a smooth-skating defenseman who originally earned the relatively lucrative extension he’s currently playing on from the Philadelphia Flyers. Myers was once believed to be a core part of the team’s future on the blueline, but the hopes for Myers’ future never materialized into highly competent play. Myers, now 25, struggled to stay healthy, wasn’t as productive as many had hoped, and even had to, at times, play as a fourth-line winger to stay in the lineup.
The Lightning, though, seem to believe that they have value in Myers that no other organization has been able to unlock. That belief is evidenced not only by the fact that they didn’t take the cap credit and buy him out this summer, but also now by this contract extension before he’s even played a game for them.
The Athletic’s Joe Smith went into great detail in a story covering why the Lightning are betting on Myers. (subscription link) In essence, the Lightning believe that their track record as one of the NHL’s best developers of talent puts them in a unique position to help Myers, a player they believe has “all the tools” to become a strong NHL-er but simply hasn’t yet put those tools together.
Quite honestly, it’s very difficult to be a naysayer when the Lightning make a move like this. Tampa has appeared in each of the past three Stanley Cup Finals and has won two of them. The Lightning have developed mid-to-late-round draft picks such as Brayden Point, Cirelli, Cernak, and Nikita Kucherov into impactful NHLers. They have been a veritable talent factory for the rest of the NHL, so when they show this level of confidence in their ability to turn around a player’s career, it’s difficult not to trust them.
Still, whether this contract and Brisebois’ faith in his development process is rewarded is ultimately down to Myers himself. If he can be what the Lightning believe he can be, this contract will be a steal and this move will be seen as another stroke of genius by one of the NHL’s most savvy front offices.
If it doesn’t work, the Lightning will likely suffer next season when they are extremely hard-pressed for cap space. But even if that’s the case, this is a relatively low-risk bet and exactly the sort of move a team like the Lightning should make to maximize the value it mines from its coaching and player development staff.
Pictures courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
John Gibson’s name is beginning to come up in trade rumors more and more, and, while it seems like the Anaheim Ducks might be in a lot of goaltending trouble without him, that’s not entirely true. Behind Gibson, the team has one of the best one-two goalie prospect punches in the league, quietly adding to their prospect pool this season via trade.
That trade was the Rickard Rakell deal, where the Ducks acquired goalie prospect Calle Clang from the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the return. Today, they’ve officially loaned Clang to Rögle BK of the SHL for the 2022-23 season, per a team tweet. Clang was the backup for Team Sweden at the 2022 World Juniors, only so due to the brilliance of Jesper Wallstedt. In two games, Clang had a .944 save percentage, complementing what was a strong rookie season for him in the SHL (2.28 GAA, .915 SV%, 10-5-0 record). While he’ll be staying there for another season, it’s probably the best for his development — the team has another high-end goalie prospect in Lukas Dostal who will receive the lion’s share of the starts for the San Diego Gulls in the AHL.
- Calgary Flames prospect Lucas Feuk is heading to North America on an AHL contract with the Calgary Wranglers, according to his former league in Sweden, HockeyEttan. A 2019 fourth-round pick, the Flames have Feuk’s exclusive signing rights until June of next year. The 21-year-old had 27 points in 32 HockeyEttan games last year split between Väsby IK and Nybro Vikings IF. HockeyEttan is Sweden’s third-tier professional league, sitting behind the SHL and Allsvenskan.
- Another prospect is heading to North America, according to his former team — Tampa Bay Lightning 2022 draft pick Klavs Veinbergs will suit up for the USHL’s Lincoln Stars in 2022-23. Veinbergs, 19, was drafted from Zemgale in the Latvian league and represented his country at the 2022 World Juniors. He’ll head to the USHL to continue his development, which is becoming a popular destination among Latvian players.
Hindsight is an amazing thing, and allows us to look back and wonder “what could have been.” Though perfection is attempted, scouting and draft selection is far from an exact science and sometimes, it doesn’t work out the way teams – or players – intended. For every Patrick Kane, there is a Patrik Stefan.
The summer doldrums often provide opportunities to look back at the past – moves that have worked out and others that didn’t go exactly as planned. The same can be said for draft picks – some early selections have panned out and become franchise players while others came up well short of expectations. In the past, we’ve looked back at the drafts in 2005, 2006, and 2007 and now, it’s time to do the same for 2008.
This draft class was a pretty strong one with 33 players (and counting) playing in at least 500 NHL games while it also has some All-Stars and future Hall of Famers. On the flip side, there were four players who never saw a taste of NHL action and certainly won’t be slotted as high in our redraft.
Over the coming weeks as we wait for training camp to begin, we’ll be going through the 2008 NHL Entry Draft to have the PHR community select who they would have picked knowing the result of the player’s career. We’ll include a list of players to vote for, and update the first round as it progresses.
The Tampa Bay Lightning had the first pick in 2008 after winning the lottery to hold onto the top selection. They were faced with the choice of picking a franchise center or a franchise defenseman with Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty being the consensus top two selections in Brian Lawton’s first draft at the helm. Obviously, they opted for the former and Stamkos has been as advertised as the leading scorer from this draft class although Doughty has played the most games and has been nominated for end-of-season awards more frequently. With the benefit of hindsight, did Tampa Bay make the right choice or would they have been better off with the franchise defender instead? Or someone else entirely?
With the first pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, who should the Tampa Bay Lightning select? Cast your vote below.
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The Tampa Bay Lightning’s incredible 2021 Stanley Cup run gave Ross Colton his first Stanley Cup in just his first try, however it wasn’t the rookie’s first time at a Stanley Cup Final. The New Jersey native grew up a huge fan of the New Jersey Devils, and in speaking with NJ.com’s Ryan Novozinsky, discussed his fandom, which included attending every home game of the Devils’ 2012 run to the Stanley Cup Finals. When approached with the idea of playing for his hometown team one day, Colton said “[t]hat would obviously be so cool.”
Aug 18: The team has now officially announced the two-year entry-level contract. It will carry a $950K cap hit.
Aug 17: The Chicago Blackhawks front office certainly isn’t on vacation. After signing Jack Johnson late last night, the team is now expected to sign college free agent Cole Guttman according to Scott Powers of The Athletic.
Guttman, 23, was a draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning but failed to sign his entry-level contract by this week’s deadline, making him an unrestricted free agent. Because of his age, he’ll be limited to a two-year deal.
Serving as captain of the University of Denver, he led the Pioneers to a national championship earlier this year and was tied for second in team scoring with Edmonton Oilers prospect Carter Savoie (behind Bobby Brink of the Philadelphia Flyers). His 19 goals and 45 points were easily career highest, though the 2017 sixth-round pick has put up strong totals throughout his four years in college.
Relatively undersized, Guttman is the kind of no-risk lottery ticket that the Blackhawks can afford to take a chance on as they rebuild. If he’s unable to deliver NHL minutes there’s nothing wrong with him adding some skill to the Rockford IceHogs.
If he can get to the highest level, however, it becomes another young forward for general manager Kyle Davidson to build around, or even potentially a trade chip to sell over the next few years. As we’ve seen so far this offseason, 23-year-old players are not safe from the rebuild machine in Chicago, as they set their sights further down the road.
For Guttman specifically, there’s probably no better place in the league to try and land regular NHL minutes. Signing with Chicago will give him an open path to playing time if he can show he deserves it, allowing his professional career to start on the right foot.
- The Lightning attempted to sign prospect winger Lucas Edmonds as a free agent last season but they weren’t allowed to as Central Scouting ruled he had to go through the draft, notes Joe Smith of The Athletic (subscription link). Instead, Tampa Bay traded up on the second day of the draft to select the 21-year-old in the third round (86th overall). Edmonds led the OHL in assists with 79 last season and finished third in points with 113 and the team has already since signed him to his entry-level deal.
One of the most consistent defensemen in the AHL has found his way to Tampa Bay, as the Lightning have signed Trevor Carrick to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2022-23 season. CapFriendly reports the deal is worth $750K in the NHL, $250K in the AHL and includes a $350K minor league guarantee.
Carrick, 28, has spent the last two seasons with the San Diego Gulls, racking up 42 points in 100 games. A Calder Cup champion with the Charlotte Checkers in 2019, the veteran minor league defenseman is a mix of skill and physicality that can help any organization.
In nearly 500 regular season AHL contests, he has scored 61 goals and 246 points, while racking up 514 penalty minutes. That includes 26 fighting majors, as the 6’2″ defenseman is not one to shy away from dropping his gloves when needed.
For Tampa Bay, Carrick likely represents nothing more than minor league depth, given he has just seven NHL games in his career, though the team has shown a willingness to give defensemen that have been otherwise overlooked a bit of ice time. Perhaps he’ll get into a handful of games this season but more likely he’s headed to the Syracuse Crunch, where he can add some veteran presence to the group.
July 22: The Lightning have officially announced the three-year contract.
July 21: The Tampa Bay Lightning nabbed one of the top overage selections available in the 2022 NHL Draft, and now they’ve signed him to his entry-level contract. Per CapFriendly, the Lightning signed Lucas Edmonds to a three-year entry-level deal carrying an $861,667 cap hit. The contract breakdown is as follows:
2022-23: $750K base salary, $95K signing bonus, $105K GP bonus
2023-24: $775K base salary, $95K signing bonus, $80K GP bonus
2024-25: $775K base salary, $95K signing bonus, $80K GP bonus
The 21-year-old Edmonds got on teams’ draft radars this season when he returned to North America after spending the majority of his development in Sweden. He never really excelled in the Swedish junior ranks, and he couldn’t latch on to a role last season when given the professional opportunity in Sweden’s second-tier league. A move to Kingston in the OHL though, playing on the same team as fourth-overall pick Shane Wright, unlocked Edmonds’ offensive production. In 68 games, the playmaking winger rocketed to the top of the scoring list with 113 points in 68 games, with 79 of those points coming in the form of assists.
Edmonds’ projection is a bit fuzzy, as while he did exhibit potential this season, he was playing against players in lower age classes as an overage player in the OHL as well. It must have been enough to convince Tampa’s scouting department, though, as they took him inside the top 100 selections at 86th overall.
With Edmonds unable to return to juniors, he’s likely destined to make his professional debut for the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch next season.