Lightning aggressive at trade deadline

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Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow add tenacity and grit to a talented Lightning team.

Bennett Carollo, Sports Editor

It’s a new season, but it’s the same old story for the Tampa Bay Lightning. With their playoff berth all but secured, it’s Stanley Cup or nothing. General manager Julien BriseBois clearly understands this, as he was aggressive ahead of the February 24th trade deadline. First, he acquired forward Blake Coleman from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a first-round pick and prospect Nolan Foote, who is a former first round pick. This was a big price to pay, but in Coleman the Lightning clearly saw a player that would make them a more feared team in the playoffs. After all, the team saw firsthand how tough Coleman can be to play against in their first round series with the Devils back in 2018. Coleman has always been known for being a fast skater, playing with an edge, and being a strong penalty killer. However, he has also developed a bit of a scoring touch this year, logging 21 goals in 59 games played so far. Add it all up and you have exactly the kind of player that fits Tampa Bay’s mold of what they wanted to add.

Before I discuss the next major trade that the Lightning made, it is worth mentioning an under the radar addition made by BriseBois in the form of defenseman Zach Bogosian. Tampa Bay has been hit hard with injuries on the blueline and the signing of Bogosian to a one-year deal after he had his contract terminated by the Buffalo Sabres is a wise and low risk move to add depth. He can bring size, strength, and experience when he is needed.

Even after adding Blake Coleman to an already stacked forward group, BriseBois had his sights set on another hardworking player in the form of San Jose Sharks center Barclay Goodrow. Goodrow has a reputation as a physical player and, like Coleman, is in the middle of a career year with a career high 25 points so far on the season. Once again, the price was high, but BriseBois decided to pull the trigger on a deal that netted the Lightning Goodrow and a third-round pick in exchange for a first-round pick and minor leaguer Anthony Greco. However, these trades will also set the Lightning up well for next year. Coleman and Goodrow are both on affordable contracts for next season, which could allow the Lightning to move one of their higher paid forwards to make room to sign their impending free agents, such as Erik Cernak, Mikhail Sergachev, and Anthony Cirelli. Only time will tell if and how these trades will pay off, but you can’t knock BriseBois for wanting to set the Lightning up in the best way possible to be a tough out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.