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NHL 2022 Offseason Guide: The Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning

Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Lightning
(Credit: Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHL 2022 Offseason Guide: The Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning grinded their way through this 2021-22 season, finishing with a record of 51-23-8, good for 110 points and third place in the Atlantic. Tampa Bay fought their way through the playoffs advancing all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. The Bolts defeated the Leafs in seven, the Panthers in four, and the Rangers in six, before ultimately falling short to the Avalanche in a well-played, hard-fought series. They did most of this without star C Brayden Point, who got injured in Game 7 of the Leafs series. With GM Julien BriseBois making some magic happen behind the scenes, can they make it three Cups in four years?

The Roster

BriseBois has learned from Steve Yzerman and assembled an amazing roster. For cap reasons, someone had to leave Tampa Bay, and it comes at the expense of defenseman Ryan McDonagh who was traded to Nashville. This freed up some cap space to sign Nick Paul to a seven-year contract with a $3.15 AAV. The Bolts have maintained most of their core throughout the years, the only one yet to re-sign is Ondrej Palat. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Point have been on the team for a while, and the Lightning will hope it stays that way. Players like Corey Perry and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare were willing to take veteran minimum contracts to have a shot at winning a Cup. They were nice additions for Tampa, producing solid minutes on the PK and in the bottom six. I like where this roster is, and there really aren’t too many holes on it.

Team Needs

The Bolts don’t need too much this offseason. I would imagine since they traded McDonagh, they would try and re-sign Palat. A three-year, $4.5 million deal could suffice, and frankly you can’t overpay (he deserves the money) but the Lightning can’t afford to. Personally, I think he realized the chance he has to win a Cup or two more with the Lightning, and he should take the discount. Tampa Bay also has a decent amount of their team on one-to-two-year contracts, so there will be much more noise next offseason. The only guys on UFA deals are Rutta, Palat and Riley Nash. Nevertheless, I think BriseBois can sign these guys to cheap deals or find prospects to fill the roles.

Cap Situation

Tampa Bay has been known for making the most of little cap situations. This year is no different. With three total UFAs (Palat, Rutta and Nash), BriseBois can certainly make the most of this situation. With Brent Seabrook not playing anymore, the Lightning essentially get his money from his contract back as credit. So instead of having -$933,333 like CapFriendly says, Tampa Bay really has $6.875 million in the bank. I think giving Palat the aforementioned three-year, $4.5 million dollar deal, and then Jan Rutta a three-year, $2 million dollar deal will work just fine.

NHL Draft

In recent years, the Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t had too many picks due to bargaining for assets. Some examples include Barclay Goodrow, Blake Coleman, Brandon Hagel, and others. They have all played big roles in Tampa’s playoff runs the past few years. This year, Tampa finally has a first-round pick, along with at least one pick in rounds four through seven, with two each in the sixth and seventh. Most of those picks came were acquired in trades over the last couple years. A potential prospect Tampa could take this year is Jimmy Snuggerud. He may not be the most refined player in the draft, but he has a wicked shot. Playing with the Golden Gophers, he can sharpen his skills and be ready by the end of his career. If the University of Minnesota knows one thing, it’s how to breed great hockey shooters. I think he can be a sneaky pick for the Bolts, and an asset for years to come.

All stats in this article came from, and all salary cap notes came from

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