It seems Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wasn’t done with the trade festivities last night. Nate Thompson was the latest player to be traded, this time to the Anaheim Ducks for two draft picks, a fourth and a seventh respectively. This is just another move that serves two purposes–clearing roster space and cap space.
There are younger, cheaper options who can center the fourth line, which is where Thompson spent most of his time last season, and one name comes to mind quickly in Cedric Paquette who saw time during the first round of the playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens.
This would make three roster players from the 2013-2014 team that Yzerman has traded in a span of a few hours in Thompson, B.J. Crombeen and Teddy Purcell. Also this doesn’t include Sam Gagner, who the Lightning traded for and then traded to the Arizona Coyotes.
Seems like Yzerman is making a big push to have the cap space in free agency, in order to sign a big ticket free agent on July 1st. There is some speculation that it would be a forward to replace Teddy Purcell but that doesn’t make sense as the Lightning have a plethora of forwards ready to play in the NHL in Brett Connolly, Nikita Kucherov, J.T. Brown, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat. If Yzerman is planning anything for free agency it will be for a defenseman to help shore up the defense even more.