I was going to suggest Kyle Palmieri here but we have had talked about enough players who came up with the Anaheim Ducks before being dealt, haven’t we?
The Tampa Bay Lightning have a tremendously deep team, but the salary cap staying flat is going to force them to move someone out that they would prefer to keep. The trouble there is, many of their big earners also have no-trade clauses built into their contracts.
That will make it difficult to move a players like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov but why would they want to anyway? Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde also have no-trade clauses, but convincing Gourde to move him might not be as difficult as the others, and the reason for that is playing time and opportunity.
The 28 year old only had 30 points in 70 games this season. So why would the Flames want to give up a first round pick for him? Well, it’s basically the same reason he would want to waive his no-trade clause. Opportunity.
Gourde was 9th among Lightning forwards in ice time this season. He played some second unit power play minutes, but averaged only 0:42 per game of ice time with the man advantage this season. His most frequent linemates this season were Pat Maroon and Cedric Paquette. After those two, he most often played with Carter Verhaege and Mitchell Stephens.
30 points in 70 games is starting to sound a lot better. Especially when you look at his past. When he actually played with Brayden Point or Steven Stamkos in his first two seasons, Gourde scored 25 goals and 68 points in 2017-18 and followed that up with 22 goals and 48 points the next year.
Gourde is under contract for five more years at a cap hit of $5.16 million per season. He would be an awful lot closer to his best season than his worst if he was put on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. The chance to play with two offensive players again might be enough to entice him into waiving that no-trade clause.
If it is, there is no question five years of Gourde would be worth a first round pick.