Jan 1, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nate Thompson (44) during the first period against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. The Tampa Bay Lightning won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Lightning Fast Frenzy: Nate Thompson Traded To Anaheim Ducks


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.

Nov 29, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson (44) and Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) skates for the puck during the third period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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