Over the Tampa Bay Lightning’s close to 30-year historical past, the franchise didn’t constantly enter the commerce deadline as consumers till lately. However, when the Lightning have added gamers for a postseason push, they haven’t been shy about making a giant splash to safe the precise individuals for the job. So, what are the three greatest deadlines for the Lightning after they had been including expertise for the playoffs?
2020 Deadline Shaped the Lightning Into Stanley Cup Champions
Following their gutting first-round exit within the 2019 Playoffs, it was clear that the Lightning wanted to turn out to be extra of a resilient crew in the event that they ever needed to interrupt by means of and win a Stanley Cup. One yr after standing pat on the commerce deadline with a crew that appeared unbeatable, common supervisor Julien BriseBois took a unique and much more aggressive strategy in 2020.
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First, he traded prime prospect, Nolan Foote, together with a 2020 first-round decide to the New Jersey Devils for Blake Coleman about two weeks earlier than the precise deadline. He adopted that by signing defenseman Zach Bogosian to a one-year deal after his contract was terminated by the Buffalo Sabres, successfully including a veteran defenseman for nothing.
Finally, BriseBois pulled off a last-second deal to amass Barclay Goodrow and a 2020 third-round decide from the San Jose Sharks for a 2020 first-rounder and prospect Anthony Greco.
With this high-risk, high-reward strategy, BriseBois managed to hit on all of those offers. Coleman and Goodrow flourished with the crew and took on vital ice-time within the Lightning’s back-to-back Stanley Cup victories, the place Bogosian acted as the right veteran defenseman for the 2020 run and rejoined the crew in 2021 on a three-year deal to try to proceed this success.
Even if the Lightning had been a extremely gifted crew earlier than the 2020 commerce deadline, it might’t be denied that one thing was lacking. Coleman, Bogosian, and Goodrow introduced that excellent edge to the crew, and with their play, left a mark on the franchise that can by no means be forgotten.
2004 Brought Tampa Bay a Needed Defenseman in Sydor
Despite struggling as an growth franchise all through the Nineties, the Lightning finally constructed a core of younger expertise that appeared able to make a deep postseason run after successful their first playoff collection in 2003. Seeing that success, Tampa Bay made a measured commerce earlier than the 2004 deadline to amass defenseman Darryl Sydor and a 2004 4th-round decide from the Columbus Blue Jackets for Alexander Svitov and a 2004 4th-rounder.
Related: Revisiting the Lightning’s Blockbuster Trade for Blake Coleman
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Even if Sydor wasn’t a blockbuster acquisition on the time, there’s no denying his impression on the franchise. Throughout the 2004 playoffs, he performed 23 video games, averaged almost 22 minutes of ice time every night time, which was the fourth-highest for the crew, chipped in six factors, and introduced with him a Stanley Cup-winning pedigree from his 1999 run with the Dallas Stars.
Without Sydor, it’s unattainable to know if the Lightning’s defensive corps would have been robust sufficient to make it by means of the trials of a protracted playoff push. His play wasn’t all the time flashy, however it was obligatory for Tampa Bay to go from being a fringe contender to a champion, and for that, this deadline deal will without end be vital to the franchise.
2018 McDonagh and Miller Blockbuster Secured the Lightning’s Future
Heading into the 2018 Trade Deadline, it was clear that the Lightning needed to enhance upon their already robust core. Then common supervisor Steve Yzerman had constructed a contender, however the roster nonetheless wanted a little bit bit extra expertise to doubtlessly push it excessive.
With rumors swirling about Tampa Bay going all-in on a deal for the likes of Erik Karlsson, as a substitute, Yzerman took a unique route, swinging a blockbuster commerce with the New York Rangers for defenseman Ryan McDonagh and ahead J.T. Miller. This deal was costly for the Lightning, as they despatched top-six ahead Vladislav Namestnikov, prospects Libor Hajek, and Brett Howden, a first-round decide in 2018 and a conditional 2019 second-round decide to New York.
At the second this commerce appeared good for the Lightning, however it had a variety of room for issues to go drastically unsuitable. For one, McDonagh was coping with accidents all through 2017-18 that had restricted his play, and there was no telling if Miller would discover his place on the lineup. Also, if you hand over that many high-upside property in a deal, it’s possible that at the least one or two of them will turn into one thing significant.
Four years later, the commerce is trying like a little bit of a coup for the Lightning. Miller performed nicely for the crew and was finally traded to the Vancouver Canucks at prime worth of a 2020 first-round decide, a 2019 third, and goaltender Marek Mazanec. For his half, McDonagh has been an ideal blueliner for the crew, averaging greater than 20 minutes of taking part in time every night time whereas being a postseason monster that helped the franchise win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
On the opposite hand, the Ranger’s return within the commerce has been lower than inspiring. To get the total breakdown from the Blueshirts’ perspective, take a look at Tom Castro’s article: Rangers’ Disastrous 2018 Trade With Lightning Could Get Worse, the place he mentioned:
Thankfully for the Blueshirts, this commerce didn’t set the tone for his or her teardown, which has been largely profitable and borne fruit within the type of a 31-13-4 document as they appear to return to the playoffs for the primary time since 2017. Yet that commerce has confirmed to be so lopsided, the membership remains to be acutely feeling the consequences – and, even worse, might put itself in place to proceed doing so nicely into the longer term.
Tom Castro – THW
Lightning Secured Championships on the Deadline
Throughout their historical past, when the Lightning have been consumers on the commerce deadline, they typically managed to herald the precise gamers to assist push the crew to a Stanley Cup Championship, whether or not it was a blockbuster deal or a comparatively small addition to assist repair a part of the roster.
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Ultimately, the rationale why a common supervisor goes out and makes a deadline commerce is to win a championship, regardless of the price. So, even when a few of these offers value the Lightning little bit of futures, it ended up being worthwhile as the franchise claimed three championships on the backs of those gamers.