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Trade Coverage

NHL Trade Buzz: Lightning sending mixed signals

General manager Steve Yzerman trades Brian Boyle hours after saying he hasn't given up on playoffs

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are two days remaining until the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET., March 1), and Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said trading goaltender Ben Bishop doesn't mean he's given up on this season. But what about trading Brian Boyle? Also, does the Calgary Flames' apparent lack of interest in Bishop mean they're not in the market for a goalie?

Here's a look around the League at the latest deadline doings:


Tampa Bay Lightning

After saying earlier in the day that the Lightning hadn't given up on making the Stanley Cup Playoffs, general manager Steve Yzerman traded his second big rental player in less than 24 hours by sending center Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

The Lightning got back center Byron Froese and a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. That followed the trade the Lightning made Sunday when they sent goaltender Ben Bishop and a fifth-round pick in 2017 to the Los Angeles Kings for goaltender Peter Budaj, defenseman Erik Cernak, a seventh-round pick in 2017 and a conditional 2017 draft pick.

Budaj, 34, comes in as a veteran backup to 22-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is now the Lightning's clear No. 1. Froese was assigned to Syracuse of the American Hockey League.

Yzerman said trading Bishop was more about creating salary cap space, and the Boyle trade also helps in that regard.

"We do have some restricted free agents that we're hoping to sign," Yzerman said Monday prior to the Boyle trade. "We need to create space for them. Our roster is likely to change between now and the opening of the season next year. What exactly [the roster] will look like, I can't predict that now. But we're going to have to make some changes to be compliant [for] next year."

Forwards Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin, and defenseman Andrej Sustr can be restricted free agents July 1. There also are performance bonuses due for Vasilevskiy, Drouin and forward Brayden Point.

"We felt the need to do this right now to give ourselves as much cap space for next year," Yzerman said. "It had to be done now instead of waiting until the end of the season."

Yzerman had said earlier Monday that despite being seven points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, he wasn't giving up on the Lighting pushing for a postseason spot. Trading Boyle, however, appears to speak to how slim those chances are.

Even with center Steven Stamkos taking part in an optional practice Monday for the first time since he tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee Nov. 15, the Lighting are facing an uphill climb in their final 22 regular-season games.


Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens were looking to move defenseman Greg Pateryn and strengthen their defense and did both in acquiring Jordie Benn from the Dallas Stars on Monday. The Canadiens also gave the Stars a fourth-round pick in the trade. 
That could prove to be worth it for the Canadiens in their push to secure a playoff berth in the tight Atlantic Division. Pateryn, 26, had trouble staying in the lineup with the Canadiens, who weren't fans of his puck-moving ability. 
General manager Marc Bergevin reportedly sent out an email to the teams last week saying that Pateryn was available. Benn, 29, is older but more reliable and should help solidify the Canadiens defense in front of goaltender Carey Price.

Maybe a fresh start will help Pateryn with Stars, who have fallen out contention in the Western Conference and are looking to the future. Pateryn has another season remaining on his contract after this one with a salary cap charge of $800,000, according to

Benn has two more seasons left on his contract after this one with a salary cap charge of $1.1 million.


Calgary Flames

A trade for Bishop would have made a lot of sense for the Flames and the price wasn't steep. Does that mean the Flames are not in the market for a goaltender or that they're focusing on someone else?

If the Pittsburgh Penguins decide to trade goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Calgary would be a potential landing spot for him if he's willing to go there. (His contract includes a no-movement clause and a modified no-trade clause.)

The Flames might be willing to go the rest of the season with Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson in net. They have won four in a row, are 5-0-1 in their past six, and hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

Bishop, who also had a no-movement clause and a modified no-trade clause, said before the start of this season that he was close to being traded to the Flames at the 2016 NHL Draft before they opted to acquire Elliott from the St. Louis Blues. According to Yzerman, the Kings were his only option for trading Bishop, so apparently the Flames were not interested at this time.

Elliott and Johnson, like Bishop, are each slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1, so maybe the Flames would have more interest in Fleury, who has two seasons left on his contract after this one.

Fleury, 32, would cost more than Bishop in a trade but he'd also give the Flames stability in net for two more seasons while promising prospect Tyler Parsons and their other young goalies gain experience.


Arizona Coyotes

Coyotes captain Shane Doan expressed some frustration after center Martin Hanzal was traded to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, along with center Ryan White and a fourth-round pick in 2017, for a first-round pick in 2017, a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional pick in 2019 and forward Grayson Downing.

In a between-periods interview with Fox Sports Arizona during the Coyotes' 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, Doan said, "It's hard to understand exactly. I mean, you understand people's hands are tied and you just don't get it."

After the game, Doan said of Hanzal, "I was very disappointed in the fact that he's not with us anymore and that's the way it is, it's just disappointed as a player. I have no control over it, so you just have to deal with it."

Video: The NHL Tonight crew breaks down trades

Doan, 40, no doubt understands the Coyotes are rebuilding and that Hanzal was likely to be traded because he is a potential unrestricted free agent. But Doan has played his entire NHL career in the Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets organization and has been through this before.

Whether Doan's frustration is enough to cause him to ask out remains to be seen. He'd have to waive the no-movement clause in his contract, which expires after this season. But general manager John Chayka said again Sunday that Doan has yet to request a trade.

"Obviously nothing's really changed for me," Doan said. "I've said all along that it wouldn't change depending on what they did with Marty. It will probably be the same-old, same-old."

At this point, it appears more likely that right wing Radim Vrbata, who also is eligible to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, will be traded.


New Jersey Devils

The Devils will hold defenseman Kyle Quincey out of their game against the Montreal Canadiens at Prudential Center on Monday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV) as a precaution with the trade deadline approaching. That seems to indicate there's a good chance Quincey will be moved.

"I guess they want to make sure I don't get hurt before the deadline," Quincey said. "It's not a scratch, but they are just keeping me out because of the trade deadline and I thanked [GM Ray Shero] for being so transparent."

Quincey, a potential unrestricted free agent this summer, returned to the lineup against the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 21 after missing six games with an upper-body injury, so it makes sense for the Devils to play it safe with him against the Canadiens. Their next game after that is at the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

Quincey, 31, is a left-handed shot with 54 games of playoff experience from his days with the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche. The Devils, who are eight points out of the second wild card from the East with 21 games remaining, are looking to pick up assets for the future.

They already have collected eight picks in the first four rounds of the 2017 NHL Draft, including the 2017 fourth-round pick they acquired from trading center Vernon Fiddler to the Nashville Predators on Feb. 4. Quincey might bring a similar return from a playoff contender seeking depth on defense.


Ottawa Senators

The Senators acquired Alexandre Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks for forward prospect Jonathan Dahlen to strengthen their depth at forward. Burrows, who waived his no-trade clause to go to Ottawa, also agreed to a two-year, $5 million contract, an average annual value of $2.5 million, TSN reported.

Burrows, 35, played 12 seasons in Vancouver, but the Senators appear to believe he has plenty left to help them make the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season and beyond. Although Burrows scored at least 26 goals in four consecutive seasons from 2008-12, his production dropped and his role had decreased.

Burrows has 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) in 55 games this season. But his abrasive style can be effective in getting opponents off their game over a long playoff series. And Burrows replaces some of the grit that the Senators were missing with forward Clarke MacArthur out for the season because of a concussion.

The Senators valued him enough to give up Dahlen, a 5-foot-11, 176-pound center who was selected in the second round (No. 42) of the 2016 NHL Draft. Dahlen has 24 goals and 17 assists in 43 games for Timra IK in Sweden this season.

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