The impressive roster of the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning could become even deadlier in the coming weeks.
Darren Dreger had a Thursday morning radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690, and was asked if the Lightning might be trying to tweak the lineup via the trade route.
“Not going to be easy,” noted Dreger. “But I think even the best teams and their general managers are looking for areas that they can deepen or improve on. So I’d say yes in answer to your question. I don’t think that they have any glaring needs, and obviously they’ve got cap to worry about. So what are they willing to part with player-wise to bring in what might be perceived as an upgrade.
“Believe it or not, I think Tampa Bay has inquired on Wayne Simmonds and on Mike Ferland. I can see both of those players - you can’t get them both, but if Tampa Bay were able to find a way to add one of those pieces, that would be a nice little add for them. Little bit more bite in their lineup. Both of those guys can comfortably play in your top-six or worst case top-nine. But to have a player like that, a power forward who can play throughout your lineup up and down, would be a premium type of asset.
“The question is, are they willing to part with anyone off their roster. If I look at Ferland in Carolina, I believe that’s what Don Waddell is trying to there, is bring in some scoring back. When you talk about their available defense, that’s kind of why the Toronto Maple Leafs shied away from Brett Pesce or Dougie Hamilton, even though they’re right-shot guys - and specifically that’s what the Leafs wanted - it was because Don Waddell needed a roster player from Toronto.
“So I’m not sure Tampa Bay would want to get into that, but I think that there would be some interest in that type of player, or even a depth defenseman - a 7-8 guy. They’ve got a terrific blueline in Tampa Bay, but you always worry about injury and you have to make sure that you’ve got depth.”
Ferland comes with the more affordable $1.75 million cap hit, while Simmonds’ is $3.975 million.
Ferland is on an expiring two-year, $3.5 million contract, and can become a UFA this summer.
Simmonds’ six-year, $23.85 million contract is winding down, and the veteran winger can also become an unrestricted free agent July 1. His pact includes a modified no-trade clause, through which he has a 12-team no-trade list.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly