The Tampa Bay Lightning finished the season eight games under .500 and 15-points away from the final playoff spot. According to CapGeek.com the Lightning have $3.33 million in salary cap space going into the 2013-14 NHL season. What players on the roster should stay or go to make the Bolts a better team.
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman missed the boat this season in not trading Martin St. Louis. Not only did St. Louis win the Art Ross trophy this year but he would be the perfect addition to a team going into the playoffs. A gritty forward that can grind out goals. His leadership alone would help a team like the New York Rangers or the Boston Bruins. Going into next season St. Louis is another year older and teams will be hesitant with offers, still has enough in the tank to where the Lightning could get solid trade-value for him.
Vincent Lecavalier and his contract are the giant elephant in the room. At $7.27 million a year, the Lightning desperately need to move this contract. At 32 and with seven years left on his contract Lecavalier will set the organization back if they are unable to move him. If they can’t move him the Lightning should consider other options. If the Lightning bought out Lecavaliers contract before next season his cap hit would be $2.42 million. The would increase the Bolts cap space significantly.
Steven Stamkos is not going anywhere!
The Bolts were near the bottom of the barrel in goals against, giving up 3.04 goals a game. Goaltending and defense were to blame. Matt Carle’s cap hit is $5.5 million a year, is Carle a top defensemen? Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators is the highest-paid defensemen in the league. Weber had 28 points this season to Carle’s 22 points. Weber’s made $500,000 per point, Carle earned $250,000 a point. Both players are over-paid buy Carle is the better deal.
Here is a breakdown of some other Lightning players.
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