Even after trading Alexander Volkov, the Tampa Bay Lightning are likely to need a side deal with the Seattle Kraken.
Simply put, they’re in a bit of a bind cap-wise next season and the Seattle Kraken could help by clearing some space.
Clearing that space won’t come easy though, with Ron Francis no doubt asking for some big assets in return for taking their bad contracts.
Dealing Alexander Volkov to Anaheim is really just the tip of the iceberg for Tampa. He certainly would’ve been an interesting option worth looking at as an expansion pick. Heck, maybe he still is, albeit from the Ducks. However, his contract hardly moves anything in terms of cap space.
Right now, CapFriendly has them $3.5 million over the cap at the start of next season. One $700,000 contract makes very little difference in their case.
This means good things for the Seattle Kraken
The Seattle Kraken are ideally placed to take advantage of this. Given the clean slate that Ron Francis will be working with salary cap-wise, he can set about taking some bad money.
Tyler Johnson is the most obvious name that springs to mind, given his Washington state roots. However, we would be wise slapping a steep asking price on taking him back to his home state.
After all, they tried shifting the contract through trade avenues and via waivers and nobody took the bait. That’s how rough that contract is currently looking.
Someone like a Mathieu Joseph or Boris Katchouk would certainly seem appealing, in addition to some draft considerations of sorts.
Realistically, that’s the minimum price that Tampa will be paying if they want a $5 million contract off their books. It’s fair to ask for more than that and simply seek two established players; an Alex Killorn maybe, though that might be a little too steep of a price.
Either way, navigating the Expansion Draft gives the current Stanley Cup champions an ideal opportunity to fix their cap mess. The Seattle Kraken need to absolutely ensure they’re on hand to take the maximum advantage.
His recent form suggests he’s an important asset but maybe the Lightning might by willing to part with Ondrej Palat. If they did so, they’d likely only lose the one player and maybe a third-round pick, at worst.
Ask the Minnesota Wild or Florida Panthers before making any decision though, Tampa. They know just how bad side deals can end up looking.