Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning have an excellent roster. They might have to move a few pieces off that roster to make room under the salary cap though. The flat cap caused by the global pandemic might hurt the Lightning more than any other team.
Of course, they have that recent Stanley Cup to help ease the pain.
Their top priorities right now are to find new contracts for RFAs Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev. Fitting in their huge raises is going to be troublesome. So, they have to move a few more players who either make good money already, or also need a new contract.
One player that could be on the move is Yanni Gourde. He has some no-trade protection, but he already won and played a depth role with guys like Mitchell Stephens, Patrick Maroon, Carter Verhaege and Cedric Paquette all season.
How does playing on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan sound? Pretty good? Yeah, I thought so.
Eric Cernak is another interesting target. He is a RFA looking for a big raise as well. He is a huge right shot defender who played top four minutes for the Lightning on their way to winning the Stanley Cup. He can chew up minutes at even strength and take on a big role on the penalty kill. He’d be the ideal partner for Noah Hanifin on the second pairing and at just 23 years old, he could stay there for a long time.
It would cost a lot to get both of these players. We are talking about a top six winger and a top four forward in one fell swoop. The Lightning would need cheap, young players or draft picks to be enticed into this deal.