NHL Trade Rumors: Trade Coming For The Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning are expected to make a significant trade soon to address their salary cap challenges and re-sign captain Steven Stamkos. 

With only $5.335 million in available cap space and 18 active roster players under contract for the 2024-25 season, the Lightning must create additional financial flexibility. 

Moving a sizable contract, such as Erik Cernak’s $5.2 million cap hit, appears imminent according to Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times. 

While Tanner Jeannot, with his $2.665 million cap hit, has frequently been mentioned as a trade candidate due to his affordable salary and physical presence, Cernak’s contract would provide the most substantial relief.

General Manager Julien BriseBois is prioritizing re-signing Stamkos but acknowledges that significant roster adjustments will be necessary. 

The team needs to balance its roster under the cap while maintaining its competitive core. Last year, the Lightning traded Ross Colton to the Colorado Avalanche for a high second-round pick to relieve cap pressure, and a similar move might be required this offseason. 

The Lightning currently do not have a draft selection until the fourth round, adding urgency to acquire valuable draft assets and bolster their prospect pool.

In addition to cap considerations, the Lightning must also address their forward depth, with only 10 forwards currently under NHL contracts. 

With the NHL Draft approaching, trade discussions are expected to intensify as the Lightning seek to secure Stamkos' future in Tampa Bay and maintain a competitive lineup.

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