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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

|Archive

Expect the unexpected.

Hang around enough NHL Draft days and that’s generally been a theme. It also happens to be the mantra of Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois after hoisting the Stanley Cup.

It’s no secret that the Lightning have to move upwards of $10 million to be able to re-sign their restricted free agents this off-season.

According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, the list of Lightning untouchables is small: Conn Smythe Trophy winner Victor Hedman, runner-up Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Noticeably absent is captain Steven Stamkos.

That makes Stamkos the newest member of TSN Hockey’s Trade Bait board, representing yet another boulevard BriseBois can pursue to navigate Tampa Bay’s cap crunch.

There are myriad reasons why trading Stamkos is unlikely. 

For one, the Lightning captain holds the hammer with full no-trade protection. Then there is his health. Stamkos, 30, underwent sports hernia surgery in early March before the pause, but sustained another injury compensating for that, according to BriseBois, which limited him to one short but magical appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

When you add in the difficulty of moving an $8.5 million cap hit during hockey’s most extraordinary economic times with a frozen cap, plus Stamkos’ visibility as one of the faces of the franchise and his connection with owner Jeff Vinik … well, it is a complicated transaction, to say the least.

But even Stamkos and his camp have grappled with the possibility - and that possibility, however remote, must be allowed for on the Trade Bait board.

Until then, the Lightning have engaged in trade discussions on more moveable pieces, including Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn. Both have a form of no-trade protection in place, but BriseBois is working with Johnson’s agent in a collaborative way to find a landing spot.

Looking back on BriseBois’ playbook from last season, he moved J.T. Miller – who went on to lead the Canucks in scoring – to Vancouver on draft day in exchange for a first-round pick.

Thinking he might be able to accomplish the same this off-season could be one reason why he felt comfortable trading first-round picks for Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow at February’s deadline.

But that was the NHL’s pre-pandemic world. A whole new set of financial realities are in place.

Those realities largely dictate the 50 names in play on TSN Hockey’s latest Trade Bait board, which always seeks to blend a player’s prominence with his likelihood of a trade:

 

Trade Bait - Oct. 6

 
Trend Player Pos Age GP G PTS Cap Hit Years
  1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ari LD 29 66 9 30 $8.25M 7
  2. Patrik Laine, Wpg LW/RW 22 68 28 63 $6.75M 1
Embedded Image 3. Josh Anderson, CBJ RW 26 26 1 4 $1.85M RFA
  4. Matt Murray, Pit G 26 38 2.87 .899 $3.75M RFA
  5. Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK G 35 49 2.77 .905 $7M 2
Embedded Image 6. Tyler Johnson, Tam C/W 30 65 14 31 $5M 4
  7. Ottawa's 2nd Round Picks              
Embedded Image 8. Matt Dumba, Min RD 26 69 6 24 $6M 3
  9. Jake DeBrusk, Bos LW 23 65 19 35 $863K RFA
  10. Tuukka Rask, Bos G 33 41 2.12 .929 $7M 1
  11. Keith Yandle, Fla LD 34 69 5 45 $6.35M 3
  12. Andreas Johnsson, Tor LW 25 43 8 21 $3.4M 3
Embedded Image 13. Max Domi, Mtl C/LW 25 71 17 44 $3.15M RFA
  14. Paul Stastny, VGK C 34 71 17 38 $6.5M 1
Embedded Image 15. Steven Stamkos, Tam C 30 57 29 66 $8.5M 4
  16. Yanni Gourde, Tam C 28 70 10 30 $5.17M 5
  17. Alex Killorn, Tam LW 30 68 26 49 $4.45M 3
  18. Ryan Strome, NYR C 27 70 18 59 $3.1M RFA
Embedded Image 19. Taylor Hall, Ari LW 28 65 16 52 $6M UFA
Embedded Image 20. Alex Pietrangelo, StL RD 30 70 16 62 $6.5M UFA
  21. Elvis Merzlikins, CBJ G 26 33 2.35 .923 $4M 2
  22. Joonas Korpisalo, CBJ G 26 37 2.60 .911 $2.8M 2
  23. Darcy Kuemper, Ari G 30 29 2.22 .928 $4.5M 2
  24. Noah Hanifin, Cgy LD 23 70 5 22 $4.95M 4
  25. Frederik Andersen, Tor G 30 52 2.85 .909 $5M 1
  26. Brandon Saad, Chi RW 27 58 21 33 $6M 1
  27. Matt Duchene, Nsh C 29 66 13 42 $8M 6
  28. Ryan Johansen, Nsh C 28 68 14 36 $8M 5
  29. Nick Bonino, Nsh C 32 67 18 35 $4.1M 1
  30. Brady Skjei, Car LD 26 67 8 24 $5.25M 4
  31. Shayne Gostisbehere, Phi LD 27 42 5 12 $4.5M 3
  32. Kyle Palmieri, NJ RW 29 65 25 45 $4.65M 1
  33. Phillip Danault, Mtl C 27 71 13 47 $3.08M 1
  34. Johnny Boychuk, NYI RD 36 64 2 11 $6M 2
  35. Brandon Sutter, Van C/RW 31 44 8 17 $4.38M 1
  36. Jaden Schwartz, StL LW 28 71 22 57 $5.3M 1
  37. Tyler Bozak, StL C 34 67 13 29 $5M 1
Embedded Image 38. Nate Schmidt, VGK RD 29 59 7 31 $5.95M 4
  39. Jonathan Marchessault, VGK RW 29 66 22 47 $5M 4
  40. Alec Martinez, VGK LD 33 51 3 16 $4.1M 1
  41. Phil Kessel, Ari RW 32 70 14 38 $6.8M 2
  42. Kris Russell, Edm RD 33 55 0 9 $4M 1
  43. Brandon Montour, Buf RD 26 54 5 18 $3.4M RFA
  44. Troy Stecher, Van RD 26 69 5 17 $2.33M RFA
Embedded Image 45. Jonathan Quick, LA G 34 42 2.79 .904 $5.8M 3
  46. Jake Gardiner, Car LD 30 68 4 24 $4.05M 3
  47. Jake Virtanen, Van RW 24 69 18 36 $1.25M RFA
  48. Evan Bouchard, Edm RD 20 0 0 0 $863K 3
  49. Vincent Trocheck, Car C 27 62 11 38 $4.75M 2
  50. Sergei Bobrovsky, Fla G 32 50 3.23 .900 $10M 6
 

 

Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli​