It’s no secret that the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the middle of a deep cap crunch. Years of success led the franchise to lock down their veteran core to contracts that weren’t bloated on their own but added up to give the team no room to maneuver when things went sideways due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has created nothing but uncertainty since the Lightning captured the 2020 Stanley Cup back in September. With three key restricted free-agents (RFA) due a raise this offseason, general manager Julien BriseBois needed to move some money in order to clear enough cap space to bring back Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli, and Erik Cernak for the 2020-21 season.
So far, however, things have been mostly quiet for Tampa Bay. Through the start of December, only Sergachev has been re-signed, and they have yet to clear any meaningful cap-space to lock down the remaining RFA’s.
This has led to a constant barrage of speculation, with potential trades being thrown around on a daily basis.
Related: The Lightning Cannot Afford to Lose Anthony Cirelli
Not all of this speculation makes sense, however, as only a few franchises in the NHL have the cap space available to take on a veteran contract. Besides this, you also have to consider who the…