Player News - Lightning

Date: Team: Pos:

Although it still seems a little far-fetched, the Lightning may consider trading Jonathan Drouin to get a puck-moving defenceman.

Drouin has shown glimpses of superstardom, but he has also been terribly inconsistent in his NHL career so far. The Bolts are in desperate need of a top-four mobile rearguard and Drouin could certainly fetch them that in a trade. It will be interesting to see if GM Steve Yzerman has the stomach to deal Drouin given the risk he may turn out to be a star wherever he ends up.
May 28 - 10:46 AM

Cory Conacher has been outstanding in the AHL playoffs leading the Syracuse Crunch to the Calder Cup finals.

Conacher scored two goals in the Crunchs' Eastern Conference clinching-game against Providence Saturday night and leads all AHL scorers with 20 points in 16 games. Despite his AHL heroics, Conacher will have a challenge making the Lightning out of training camp next season. He has demonstrated some NHL competency but is very inconsistent, which to date, has cost him a permanent NHL roster spot.
May 28 - 10:38 AM

Nikita Gusev scored two goals and registered an assist to led Russia to a 5-3 victory over Finland in the bronze medal game of the 2017 World Championships.

Gusev was a major contributor in Russia's bronze medal run, scoring seven goals and 14 points in 10 games. The 24-year-old wasn't taken in the 2010 NHL draft until the 202nd pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he's excelled in the KHL. In 2016-17 he had 24 goals and 71 points in 57 games with St. Petersburg SKA.
May 21 - 12:49 PM

The Tampa Bay Lightning have interest in re-signing Peter Budaj.

Budaj is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Lightning acquired him on Feb. 26 in the Ben Bishop deal. "We were very pleased with the finish to the season Peter had, we'd very muuch be interested in bringing him Peter back," Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said. "As the offseason winds down here, we get closer to July 1, we'll figure out what wer'e going to do for backup and goaltenders in Syracuse." Budaj ended up playing in 60 games last season, primarily due to the fact that the Kings lost Jonathan Quick for a large portion of 2017-18. If Budaj does sign with the Lightning, he will be projected to serve as the backup goaltender behind Andrei Vasilevskiy.
May 19 - 11:08 AM

Steven Stamkos (knee) is "feeling much better than where I was at the end of the season."

Stamkos hasn't played since Nov. 15, but as previously reported he should be fine for the 2017-18 campaign. There was a bit of a surprise on Thursday when he was listed as being on the roster for a CHL Alumni Game that will take place on May 27, but Stamkos said that the organizers listed him without confirming first and he won't be participating in the contest.
May 18 - 6:25 PM

Nikita Kucherov is tied for second in the 2017 World Hockey Championship scoring race.

He has tallied 11 points, including five goals, in six games for Russia. Kucherov had a goal and two helpers in Monday's 5-0 win over Latvia. Russia and the U.S. will play for first place in Group A on Tuesday.
May 15 - 4:29 PM

Taylor Raddysh has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He registered 42 goals and 109 points in 58 games with the Erie Otters this past season. Raddysh also had 31 points in 22 playoff matches to help Erie win the OHL championship and qualify for the Memorial Cup. He was taken with 58th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by Tampa Bay.
May 15 - 3:02 PM

Nikita Gusev reportedly plans to sign an extension to stay in the KHL, so he seems to have no immediate intentions to play in North America.

Tampa Bay has offered Gusev an AHL-only contract or a two-way deal, but he's getting a top-six role in KHL and still has another year left so the decision to stay is an easy one right now. Gusev had 24 goals and 71 points in 57 games for SKA St. Petersburg in 2016-17. He also added 23 points in 18 playoff matches. The 24-year-old forward has looked good in the World Hockey Championship as well with seven points through five contests for Russia. Gusev was a seventh-round pick of the Lightning in 2012.
May 15 - 10:54 AM

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 22 shots as Russia defeated Slovakia 6-0 Saturday at the 2017 World Hockey Championship.

Vasilevskiy has two shutouts and a .953 save percentage at the tournament so far. He will be the starter for the Lightning next season barring an injury. He was 23-17-7 this season with a 2.61 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Expect more from the 22-year-old netminder in 2017-18 with a healthier Lightning lineup.
May 14 - 11:12 AM

Vladislav Namestnikov might be available for the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.

He would be an intriguing player to pick up for the NHL's newest franchise. "It will depend on many factors," Namestnikov told Sport-express.ru. "The NHL expansion draft is in two months. No one knows what might happen. Many players are to be re-signed. So it'll be difficult to make predictions." He struggled in 2016-17 with 10 goals and 28 points in 74 games, but he is a player who can play up and down the lineup.
May 9 - 12:22 PM

Ryan Callahan (hip) is projected to be available for the start of 2017-18, per Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

Callahan only played in 18 games this season. He's run into injuries in the past, but typically he'll be able to play the vast majority of a campaign. It wouldn't be surprising for 2017-18 to be a comeback campaign for him.
Apr 27 - 3:21 PM

Steven Stamkos should be fine for the 2017-18 campaign, per Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.

Stamkos played in just 17 games in 2016-17 due to a knee injury. There was speculation towards the end of the 2016-17 that he might return before its conclusion, but in the end Stamkos said that they "got ahead of ourselves" when it came to their hopes. He'll continue to rehab over the summer.
Apr 27 - 3:18 PM

Nikita Kucherov had some choice words for some of his Tampa Bay teammates when he spoke to Sovietsky Sport.

"Some guys overstayed in team," said Kucherov, per translation. "They've got their money and stopped working. They knew there's no competition for their positions and the organization is not going to take someone else. They played not really well this year. You can see it in their stats and way of play. When we played together and I made a pass, they even were not expecting this. That's why this season was hard for me despite good stats." Kucherov also didn't like how often changes were made to lines after Steven Stamkos was injured. He had a great year in 2016-17 with 40 goals and 85 points in 74 games, but the Lightning failed to make the playoffs.
Apr 26 - 5:56 PM

Victor Hedman has been selected as a Norris Trophy finalist.

Hedman was often overshadowed by defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, who are the other two nominees, but he was terrific in his own right. Hedman finished the 2016-17 season with 16 goals and 72 points in 79 games this season. "I'm being put in situations to be successful," Hedman said after the season. "I've obviously felt more comfortable on the power play. I've felt more comfortable playing that offensive role. We had to be able to produce, and that's been kind of what I expect of myself, to be one of the leaders, especially when we were in a big hole." Hedman won't win the Norris Trophy, but there's no denying how good he was this season.
Apr 22 - 10:54 AM

Anton Stralman will be on Sweden's team for next month's IIHF World Championships.

He must have been cleared to play from whatever was ailing him. Stralman could be paired with Tampa Bay teammate Victor Hedman again on Sweden's back end.
Apr 19 - 10:22 AM


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