The Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday traded three forwards from their roster and acquired three later-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.
LIGHTNING WHEELIN' AND DEALIN'
Tampa Bay then traded Gagner and right wing B.J. Crombeen to the Arizona Coyotes for a sixth-round pick. Later, the Lightning traded center Nate Thompson to the Anaheim Ducks for a fourth-round and a seventh-round pick.
The moves give Tampa Bay some room under the $69 million NHL salary cap with free agency to begin Tuesday.
"We cleared out some cap space and cash to hopefully do something on July 1. If not on July 1, for the future," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said, according to The Tampa Tribune. "We are in position right now, whether it’s first in free agency, to try and improve our team."
Purcell, 28, had 12 goals and 30 assists in 82 games last season. The undrafted free agent has missed three games in the past four seasons and has two years remaining on a contract with an annual $4.5 million salary-cap charge, according to CapGeek.com. Gagner has two years remaining at $4.8 million.
"I love the guy (Purcell), he's a popular teammate, a really good guy and I think everybody -- players coaches and management -- are going to miss him," Yzerman said. "But with some younger players coming in, we need to move out some money to give us the opportunity to do other things, and we had to move Teddy’s contract to do that."
Crombeen and Thompson were two of the Lightning's most-used penalty-killing forwards.
Crombeen, 28, had three goals and seven assists in 55 games last season. He had 79 penalty minutes and has 771 in 387 NHL games. He will make $1.15 million this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, CapGeek states.
Thompson, 29, had nine goals and seven assists in 81 games. He will make $1.6 million in each of the next three seasons, according to the website.