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TropicalFruitGirl26

TB Lightning Summer of 2019

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coby.jpg.1f96da287d9044100e2d9f77c0360fba.jpg

 

After being shell shocked by the Blue Jackets, the Bolts are left to wonder...what now?

Well, they shouldn't wonder too long.
What now is: forge forward and take another run at history (and the Cup) next season.

 

Some things have happened with this team since bein unceremoniously dumped by Columbus in the 1st round:

Braydon Coburn took a big pay cut to stay on with the team (3.7M to a two year, 1.7M per deal)….by no means is he an elite level defender, but he DID play solidly for the Bolts all season, obviously wants to keep playing with a winner, and has improved his game leaps n bounds since his days in Atlanta and Philadelphia.
I DO have to wonder why Coach Jon Cooper opted to play mostly Jan Ruutta over Coburn in the Columbus series however. Ruutta looked quite pedestrian out there and Coburn, not used till the final game, I think, would have been better at stemming the Jackets' tide...………..then again, given CBJ's PERFECT game plan against the Bolts, maybe it would have made NO difference.....

 

Ryan Callahan has been diagnosed with degenerative back disease, and his career is likely over....while that is sad (and no way for a warrior like Cally to go out), from a team business standpoint, that means his 5.8M cap hit can be put on LTIR freeing up precious space.

Speaking of which, JT Miller...he and his 5.25M cap hit...traded to the Canucks for a minor league goalie and a 1st round pick in 2020. Not bad.
I liked Miller, but he obviously was the odd man out when Cooper made out his lineups on a day to day basis....and the combination of Cally's and Miller's cap hits no longer being there means...………………. the Bolts may now sign young superstar Brayden Point with no trouble now.

 

As for the draft, the Lightning ended up with a little of everything....wingers, defensemen, and even a goalie and if the Bolts scouts track record is anything to go by, it is possible even one or two of those late round picks could turn into a viable NHL player.


I honestly have NOT followed any of the players the Bolts selected, so can't really comment on their abilities and how they can impact the team at this time, however, drafting Nolan in the 1st round (LW) gives the Lightning a pair of Feete in their organization :rolleyes: , having already drafted defenseman Cal Foote previously....both, of course, sons of former rugged NHL defenseman, Adam Foote of the Colorado Avalanche.

 

I will trust in the TB system to continue to develop, evaluate, and maybe even trade off some of these players in due time in order to continue icing a Cup contender at the NHL level as well as a Calder contender in the AHL.

 

Waiting now to see the final numbers on a Brayden Point contract and who, exactly, the Bolts will get to fill the spots vacated by Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman on defense, as well as possible new contracts for bottom six soldiers Cedric Paquette and Adam Erne.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Speaking of which, JT Miller...he and his 5.25M cap hit...traded to the Canucks for a minor league goalie and a 1st round pick in 2020.

 

This could be a steal for the Bolts especially if this isn't top 5 protected....and to get out from under the contract what is going on in Vancouver...

 

 

Edited by OccamsRazor
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1 minute ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

This could be a steal for the Bolts especially if this isn't top 5 protected....and to get out from under the contract what is going on in Vancouver...

 

 

 

I must say I was rather surprised the Bolts were able to get a 1st rounder from Vancouver for Miller.
I would have been happy with a 2nd or 3rd rounder plus Miller's contract gone.

Although I like Miller (tough, versatile player), I like Brayden Point more! And I truly think that is the endgame here.

The pick is conditional, so the 1st rounder may either be in 2020 or 2021 depending on whether the Canucks make the playoffs or not, if I am not mistaken.

Either way, they get a goalie for their system, a first rounder from a team not likely to finish very high over the next two seasons, and created cap room.
Julien Brisbois continues to do good work in the wake of Stevie Y's departure.

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1 minute ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

The pick is conditional, so the 1st rounder may either be in 2020 or 2021 depending on whether the Canucks make the playoffs or not, if I am not mistaken.

 

Well that is good i guess unless they guess wrong like the Senators did with the Avs...

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@yave1964

 

Saw your post on your season recap about JT Miller.

I will keep this running thread for Bolts doings throughout the summer, but the fact that Miller was traded was not really a surprise.
It was long thought by Bolts fans and NHL fans alike that with the cap crunch the Bolts now seem to be facing all the time, SOMEONE had to go.... and Miller was one of the few (i.e. the only one I believe), with a relatively high cap hit and still tradeable status, as the others have either NMC or NTCs.

Brayden Point still needs to be signed and the combination of JT Miller's trade and Ryan Callahan's placement on LTIR (his last year with the club), should make that possible now.

As far as Miller goes, I actually like him. He brought a tough, grinding style that still seems to be a bit absent in the Bolts forward ranks. He can contribute in scoring a bit, and like you said, is verstatile on any position and on any line.

But yes, he often found himself the odd man out when Jon Cooper made out his lineups and I bet he could do even better if he had regular linemates. I wish him well in Vancouver where he just may find some good chemistry with some of their good forwards over there.

One thing though....it wouldn't surprise me if Miller harbored a bit of resentment towards the Bolts. I mean, he signed the big contract thinking he would get to spend his prime years with the team and have a few cracks at a Stanley Cup. 
Now he is in Vancouver, where even though he likely gets much more playing time, he will be in the midst of a rebuild and trying to make the playoffs as opposed to making Cup runs.

Even though TB and VAN don't see each other much during the year, I bet he will play with a super chip on his shoulder (yes, the traded players always do) if he gets to play against the Lightning.

 

In other news, the Tampa Bay Lightning sign 2019 1st round pick Nolan Foote to a 3 yr/ $925K per ELC.
As many know, Nolan is the brother to defenseman Callan Foote, defenseman, who is also in the Bolts system.

 

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Will this pair of "Feete" eventually make their NHL debuts on the big club together?
Would make a nice story if they could....

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@TropicalFruitGirl26

 

I am a fan of Miller bu I felt he didn't quite fit with the Bolts, yeah he had 20 PPP but spent most of last season on the third line after playing most of the year before after coming over from the Rangers with Kucherov and Stamkos. I think Cooper is one of the best coaches in the game today but I thought Miller could have been used better.

 

  That said, turning him into a first, WOW what a return. As you mentioned between Miller and Callahan it makes signing Point easier and picking up a first is the cherry on top.

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22 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

@TropicalFruitGirl26

 

I am a fan of Miller bu I felt he didn't quite fit with the Bolts, yeah he had 20 PPP but spent most of last season on the third line after playing most of the year before after coming over from the Rangers with Kucherov and Stamkos. I think Cooper is one of the best coaches in the game today but I thought Miller could have been used better.

 

  That said, turning him into a first, WOW what a return. As you mentioned between Miller and Callahan it makes signing Point easier and picking up a first is the cherry on top.

 

Jon Cooper seems pretty loyal to Ondrej Palat…..and I can't say I blame him. After all, Cooper oversaw Palat's development in the minors and saw him get promoted to the big club, long shot as he was, as a 6th or 7th round pick.

That said, I thought on many occasions, JT Miller should have been used in place of Palat, as Ondrej, aside from in his initial burst onto the NHL scene, has mostly struggled to stay consistent, particularly on the scoresheet. And Palat has been given numerous chances on top six lines playing with Kucherov, Johnson, Point, and Stamkos.

Palat is a slightly faster skater, IMO, than Miller, but I think JT edges him out in all other areas.
I like Cooper as well (and glad they did re-sign him), however, if there is one big criticism that can be leveled at him, is that he sometimes stays too long in his "comfort zone" with certain players when he should take a chance with another.

I realize Coop has all sorts of talent up n down the lineup, so even minor coaching mistakes aren't as glaring, but they still are there and I think not utilizing JT Miller more in place of Ondrej Palat could have been one of them.

Another guffaw by Coop (in the playoffs against the Jackets) was prioritizing Jan Ruutta on defense over Braydon Coburn.
Yes, yes...the Jackets were on fire and it seemed NOTHING the Lightning could do was going to stop them this past Spring, but still, Coburn is the more season soldier, and Ruutta...well, he is still in the potential stage....and facing down a red hot Columbus squad was NO place to forge Ruutta. 
Coburn didn't get to play until it was too late in the series...granted, it probably would not have made much difference the way things were going.

 

But back to Miller, yea, the 1st rounder coming back was very nice. Especially since the Bolts seem to always pick late in the first round...having a pick closer to the top (likely given Van's rebuilding status) sure is nice.

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A batch of signings, mostly depth moves from the looks of it, for Tampa Bay today.....

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Scott Wedgewood - G

Spencer Martin - G
Chris Mueller - F

 

Obviously, the Bolts big club goalies will be Andrei Vasilevskiy and Louie Domingue, but nice to know if either go down with an injury a goalie like Scott Wedgewood and, not listed in the link, but signed as well, Curtis McElhinney, can be called upon rather than a career minor league goalie like they had last season in Eddie Pasquale.

 

Chris Mueller, 33, is obviously a minor league add. He only has had very short stints with NHL clubs, but his AHL numbers are pretty good....should help in Syracuse, and MAYBE a spot call up to play on TB's 4th line if need be.

Bolts also added two veteran defenseman....a pair of Lukes.
Luke Witkowski, who was a former Bolts farmhand and part time NHL'er, is back with the club.
Luke Schenn (I really like this signing!), veteran NHL defenseman, hard hitter, whose biggest knock has been actual defensive coverage, but on the Bolts, he should be no higher than a third pairing, easily replacing Dan Girardi.

All players are signed at team friendly contracts, ranging from 700K to 1.3M...not bad for a team that is close to the cap ceiling with still "the big one" to sign in Brayden Point.



 

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And some more signings....

Cedric Paquette, the resident agitator, 4th line, hitting specialist gets a two year/ $1.65M per contract...that is up from his $812K per previous contract.
Not bad at all for a guy who is still only 25, understands his role, and has gotten better and better at it (he used to do REAL dumb things when first brought up...such as mouthing off to Zdeno Chara and NOT thinking the Big Bear would swat him in the face :bigteeth: ), and who can skate and chip in with goals.

 

Dominik Masin and Ben Thomas, a pair of 23 yr old defensemen drafted by the Bolts in 2014 who have spent their careers so far in the minors, also got contracts....only a year apiece though... $715K for Thomas, $700K for Masin...two way contracts, so those salaries are provided they make the NHL club...they make $100K in AHL Syracuse.

 

Outside of Victor Hedman and hopefully, Callan Foote, the Lightning don't seem to have very much luck with drafting defensemen in recent years. Any good D they have gotten have come from elsewhere.
Both Thomas and Masin may eventually get traded elsewhere if this trend continues, but for the meantime, a pair of system grown who have done well in the AHL, still young, and maybe could see some time up in the big club this season.

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      This could be a steal for the Bolts especially if this isn't top 5 protected....and to get out from under the contract what is going on in Vancouver...    

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