3 Lightning Players Who Won’t Be Back Next Season

The Tampa Bay Lightning did what they could to upgrade at the trade deadline, but ultimately didn't get who they wanted, Noah Hanifin. It seems as though the team at least upgraded enough to help them get into the playoffs where they have proved anything can happen. As a team that is strapped for cap, the Lightning will have to make some changes in the offseason and try to get back to being the powerhouse they were not too long ago.

Austin Watson

The Lightning have Austin Watson as a cheap player who fits a role and plays very little. He has played his role, but how impactful that has been is up for debate. In every other aspect, he has done very little as he's only gotten into 29 games and has two goals and three points. On top of that he plays fewer than seven minutes per game and is usually a healthy scratch. He is a UFA after the season and the Lightning can do better and upgrade.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba was brought in as a second or third option after the Lightning missed out on their top targets at the deadline, but he can still do a job. Dumba should do fine for the remainder of the season, but he doesn't fit on the roster and in the lineup next season, especially since he will want a raise or a contract with a bit of term that he didn't get this season. The team already has three right-shot defenders in their top-six in Nick Perbix, Erik Cernak, and Darren Raddysh.

Calvin De Haan

Just like with Dumba, there won't be much room in the lineup next season for someone like Calvin De Haan who will be a 33-year-old third pairing defenseman at best. He has filled a need this season playing the majority of the games, but the defense of the Lightning is coming into form with some of the younger talent. This doesn't include De Haan and the team will likely let him walk in free agency.

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