Lightning Trade Ryan McDonagh at Predators for Myers & Mismash
The Tampa Bay Lightning traded star defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators in exchange for compatriot Philippe Myers and forward Grant Mismash, lightning announced on Sunday. This came after June 30 reports of the insider Elliotte Friedman that they were working with McDonagh to find a good trade that suited him.
“According to multiple sources, the Lightning are working with Ryan McDonagh to see if there is another team he would consider a trade with. It’s a very, very difficult thing for Tampa to think about. McDonagh is still a terrific player (he was on the ice last shift to preserve the team’s victory in Game 5 in Denver which extended the Stanley Cup Final) and is extremely popular among his teammates, who were disappointed to hear of this possibility. That’s not what Tampa wants to do, but may have to.
McDonagh is coming off his fourth full season with the Lightning after being traded to Sunshine State from the New York Rangers in 2018. He will finish his tenure with 20 goals and 99 points in 267 games as well as 23 playoff points. He also lifted the Stanley Cup twice.
Related: Lightning May Have a Painful Ceiling Response in McDonagh Trade
McDonagh is a valuable veteran defenseman who can still play more than 20 minutes a night in all situations, so he should be a huge addition to a Predators blue line that already boasts Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and a rising star in Dante Fabbro. After losing Ryan Ellis, Shea Weber and PK Subban in recent years, he will once again make the Predators defense force a real force in the Western Conference. He also wanted to go, because he had to waive his no-trade clause to be processed. He could also end his Music City career, with four seasons remaining on a cap of $6.75 million in average annual value (AAV).
The Predators also got Mismash in the deal, who was a second-round Predators pick in 2017. The 23-year-old had six goals and 12 points in his first season with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American League. hockey last season.
Thunderboltless cap space to potentially retain the palate
After re-signing key forward of the last six Nick Paul to a seven-year extension on July 1, the Lightning needed to clear more cap space to potentially re-sign other major plays in Ondrej Palat and Jan Rutta. While it was difficult to trade a locker room favorite to McDonagh, it had to be done to keep other key players on the roster.
Prior to the McDonagh deal, the Lightning were at risk of losing Palat in free agency. Now, with the cap savings of $6.75 million, they’ll likely re-sign him with a “hometown discount.” As for the defender they got in the deal, Myers could be redeemed. According to Friedmanthey would save $617,000 in ceiling space in 2022-23, but owe $633,000 in 2023-24.
McDonagh will certainly miss the blue line in 2022-23, but the move could open up an opportunity for Cal Foote to play a bigger role. The 23-year-old played 56 games for the Lightning in 2021-22, recording two goals and nine points. However, he only averaged 13:08 of ice time. Unless they sign someone else in free agency, expect that number to increase significantly. Rutta, if retained, will also likely see more time.
All in all, general manager Julien BriseBois and his staff pulled off another feat of cap gymnastics to free up some space to potentially keep the core together for another Stanley Cup run. Palat, who was a seventh-round pick by the Lightning in 2011, has spent his entire career with the franchise and has 143 goals and 423 points in 628 games as well as 48 goals and 94 points in the playoffs. He was instrumental in both of their Cup wins, so it’s no surprise that BriseBois is bending over backwards for a chance to keep him in Tampa a little longer. This McDonagh trade gives him the opportunity to do just that.
Matthew Zator is a freelance writer, editor and THW scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft and prospects in general. He likes to talk about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the end of articles like this one on Tyler Motte.