Well, that was fast. After trading winger Teddy Purcell to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Sam Gagner, then shipping Gagner and forward B.J. Crombeen to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2015 6th round draft pick earlier Sunday night, multiple reports are coming in that general manager Steve Yzerman has traded Nate Thompson to the Anaheim Ducks for both a 4th and 7th round pick in next year’s NHL Draft.
Not an overly expensive player, Thompson was likely moved to free up more cap space that could land the Lightning either the backup goaltender they covet or a solid puck-moving defenseman. Some names being thrown around are Matt Niskanen, Anton Stralman and even P.K. Subban.
An alternate captain for the Lightning, Thompson put up respectable numbers last season while centering the team’s 3rd line. In fact, his nine goals and 16 points were good for a guy signed to pester opponents, thus creating opportunities for teammates.
His trade, however, gives Yzerman more flexibility heading towards Tuesday’s opening of free agency. From what I can see, the team has $5.7 million extra cash to spend and only a couple of pressing needs.
Do they use this money to acquire someone elite, or split it between a couple of lower profile players that can help the team in their quest to give Lord Stanley’s Cup another much-needed tan? Whatever happens, one thing’s for certain: Yzerman and the Lightning are seriously in it to win it.