Lightning add Andreoff in trade, retain core group
Forward lone offseason acquisition; Kunitz, Sustr leave as free agentsby Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent
After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Tampa Bay Lightning:
The Tampa Bay Lightning will return a roster similar to the one that came within one win of the Stanley Cup Final.
Although it hasn't been a quiet offseason for the Lightning, their one addition so far is forward Andy Andreoff, who was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings for goalie Peter Budaj on June 13. Tampa Bay lost forward Chris Kunitz and defenseman Andrej Sustr as unrestricted free agents.
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The Lightning signed defenseman Ryan McDonagh (seven years, $47 million) and forward Nikita Kucherov (eight years, $76 million) to contract extensions; kept forward J.T. Miller from becoming a restricted free agent by signing him to a five-year, $26.25 million contract June 26; and re-signed RFA defenseman Slater Koekkoek (one year, $865,000) and forwards Cedric Paquette (one year, $1 million) and Adam Erne (one year, $800,000). They were one of six teams to meet with free agent center John Tavares in Los Angeles before he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and reportedly attempted to traded for Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson.
Tampa Bay, which was eliminated in the Eastern Conference Final in seven games by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals after setting its records for wins (54) and points (113), did not have a pick in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Here is what the Lightning look like today:
Andy Andreoff, F: The 27-year-old will have an opportunity to earn a spot on the fourth line. He had 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in 159 games in four seasons with the Kings, including nine (three goals, six assists) in 45 games in 2017-18.
Video: LAK@CHI: Andreoff deflects in Brodzinski's nice feed
Chris Kunitz, F: He agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 1. Kunitz, who turns 39 on Sept. 26, had 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 82 regular-season games and one assist in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games in his only season with the Lightning. … Andrej Sustr, D: The 27-year-old signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks on July 5. He played 44 games last season, down from 80 in 2016-17, because of the emergence of Mikhail Sergachev. ... Peter Budaj, G: The 35-year-old mentored No. 1 goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and was a positive presence in the locker room but lost his backup job to Louis Domingue midway through the season.
On the cusp
Adam Erne, F: The 23-year-old has seven points (six goals, one assist) in 49 games with the Lightning during the past two seasons. Erne had 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 41 games with Syracuse of the American Hockey League in 2017-18. He will come into training camp with an opportunity to earn a bottom-six role. … Alexander Volkov, F: Selected by the Lightning in the second round (No. 48) of the 2017 NHL Draft, Volkov, who turns 21 on Aug. 2, led Syracuse with 23 goals last season.
What they still need
Help on the penalty kill. The Lightning were 28th in the NHL last season (76.1 percent). They finished 11th of 16 teams in the playoffs (75.0), allowing 12 goals in 48 times shorthanded in the postseason, including four in 17 power-play chances for the Capitals.
One of the best fantasy hockey storylines last season was the value of Tampa Bay's secondary scoring available on the waiver wire. The most notable was forward Yanni Gourde, who ended up No. 62 in Yahoo after going undrafted in almost all leagues. Gourde's production came mostly on the second line filling in for injured forward Ondrej Palat, and he briefly played on the top line with Kucherov and Steven Stamkos before Miller was acquired prior to the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline. Gourde's role could diminish this season with a fully healthy roster, but fantasy owners can expect the 26-year-old to have 50-point potential on a team that led the NHL with 290 goals last season. -- Rob Reese
Video: BOS@TBL, Gm2: Gourde sweeps home Point's feed for PPG
J.T. Miller -- Steven Stamkos -- Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn -- Anthony Cirelli -- Yanni Gourde
Adam Erne -- Cedric Paquette -- Ryan Callahan
Victor Hedman -- Anton Stralman
Ryan McDonagh -- Mikhail Sergachev
Braydon Coburn -- Dan Girardi