Updated: Jul 4, 2022
(Photo via Tampa Bay Lightning)
By Jake Ricker
The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded D Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators in exchange for D Philippe Myers and F Grant Mismash. Reports had come out earlier in the week that the Lightning were looking to move McDonagh, as the two sides were aware of the upcoming cap crunch that the Lightning faced. Here is a breakdown of the trade and what it means for the Lightning moving forward.
D Philippe Myers
F Grant Mismash
The first thing to look at when it comes to the Lightning's side of this trade is cap space. With Myers on the NHL roster, the Lightning are $175,000 over the cap, but once Seabrook goes on LTIR, they would have about $6.7 million to play with. This deal creates huge savings for the Lightning, who are still looking to re-sign Palat and defenseman Jan Rutta.
There is an interesting scenario where the Lightning could buy out Myers and save even more money (because the way of his contact is built), but GM Julien BriseBois indicated today the Lightning plan to use Myers in their 2022-23 lineup. If they did buy out Myers, the Lightning would end up with just about &7.3 million in cap space for next season but would also lose about 600k for 2023. For more details on the cap, reference this tweet by CapFriendly.
Myers is just 25 years old and has one year left on his current deal. He has played in 142 career games scoring seven goals and 26 assists, for a total of 33 points. At 6 foot 5 inches and 210 pounds, Myers is a physical defenseman with a little upside offensively. With four years of NHL experience, Myers is still very young and is looking to reach that next level.
The advanced statistics do not favor Myers, but at a 2.55 million dollar cap hit, it is unlikely the Lightning will send him to the minors or not play him. Hopefully, a change of scenery and joining a top coaching staff will help him have a breakout season.
At the end of the day, Myers has only one year left on his contract, so there is not a ton of risk for the Lighting. If Jan Rutta is brought back, Myers gives the Lightning at the very least some depth at the defensive position. Only time will tell how well he fits in with the Lightning's defensive structure.
Mishmash is only 23 years old and has not played in the NHL. He had six goals, and six assists, for a total of 12 points with the Milwaukee Admirals last season. Mishmash will likely spend next season with the Syracuse Crunch and hopefully continue to grow as a player.
D Ryan McDonagh
McDonagh has been a more than solid defenseman for the Lightning ever since being acquired from the Rangers. He was a major part in helping the Lighting win back-to-back cups and will be sorely missed. However, at 33 years old and carrying a $6.75 million dollar cap hit, It was in the Lightning's best interest to move his contract.
The Predators have a lot to look forward to in McDonagh, as even at 33, he is not afraid to block shots and is a solid top 2 defenseman. In the 2021-2022 season, McDonagh played in 71 games, scored 4 goals, had 22 assists, for a total of 26 points, and was a plus 15. He will bring a lot of playoff experience to the Predators as well, which is something they could use.
While some fans wanted more in return, this was mostly a cap move. The Lightning now have a lot more cap space to work with to re-sign Palat and Rutta and have two young players that could potentially grow into something special. This gives the Lightning the most flexibility in future years, and they did not have to retain any salary, which is huge.
Losing McDonagh hurts, no question, and as JBB said today, if it wasn't for their cap situation, he would have never thought about moving McDonagh. It had to be done and more than likely help the Lightning in the long run. We wish McDonagh the best in Nashville and will always cherish his time in Tampa Bay as he helped win not one but two Stanley Cups.
Let us know your thoughts on the trade in the comments below, should have the Lightning gotten more? Is our Defense now a point of concern? Any and all thoughts are welcome. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more offseason coverage as we wait to see what the Lightning do next.
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