With the NHL draft taking place in Vancouver this weekend, the Tampa Bay Lightning began re-shaping it’s roster for the upcoming season with a series of transactions.
Forward Ryan Callahan was diagnosed with a long term spinal injury and was put on the long term injured reserve list.
Callahan was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine which likely ends his 15 year NHL career. Callahan in an interview with the Tampa Bay Lightning said he has struggled with back issues the last few years.
Callahan played in only 34 games this past season scoring seven goals and adding 17 assists for 24 points. This was the lowest output of Callahan’s career since his second season in 2007-08.
It was unlikely that Callahan would have been back in Tampa this season, but this is not the way that you want anyone’s career to end.
-Defensemen Braydon Coburn will be back on defense next season for the Lightning. Coburn signs for two years at $3.4 million and every dollar of that contract is guaranteed.
The Lightning still have contract decisions to make on the blue line with Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi, and Ryan McDonagh.
As the Lightning continue to create cap space to sign Braydon Point to a contract extension, the team traded forward JT MIller to the Vancouver Canucks for a conditional number one pick in 2020, goalie Marek Mazanec, a 2019 third-round pick and a 2020 conditional pick.
The Lightning needed goalie help at Syracuse after the Conner Ingram trade earlier this month and got that help in Mazanec.
This was a salary cap trade for the Lightning as the Canucks will take Miller’s entire contract, which has four years remaining with a $5.25 million cap hit, according to TSN.
With Callahan being put on LTIR and the Miller trade, the Lightning are now roughly $11 million under the cap which will give them enough to sign Braydon Point to that contract extension.
-In Las Vegas earlier this week at the NHL awards ceremony, the Lightning took home four awards.
Nikita Kucherov won the Art Ross Trophy as the leading scorer in the NHL, the Ted Lindsey Award given to the outstanding player in the league as voted on by the players, and Kucherov was also the winner of the Hart Trophy which is given to the MVP of the league.
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Vezina Trophy which is given to the outstanding goaltender in the league. Vasilevskiy is the first Lightning goaltender to win the award after posting a 39-10-4 record with a 2.40 goals against average.
-Another member of the Foote family is now a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization as the Lightning drafted forward Nolan Foote with the 27th pick in the first round of the NHL draft.
The 18 year old Foote stands six foot three and last season with the Kelowna Rockets had 36 goals and 63 points in 66 games.
Cal Foote, the older brother of Nolan Foote, and a highly touted defensive prospect played at Syracuse this past season and should be given a good look in training camp to make the Lightning roster in September.
The Lightning will be having their development camp in Brandon at the ice rink this next week and a lot of the Lightning prospects should be in attendance.
The development camp runs from June 25-29th.