The Tampa Bay Lightning’s hopes for staging a Stanley Cup run this season suffered a severe setback with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy’s eight-to-10-week restoration from lower-back surgical procedure.
With backups Jonas Johansson and Matt Tomkins missing NHL starter expertise, the Lightning might be pressured to discover a short-term substitute for Vasilevskiy.
Simpler stated than completed. There are not any netminders akin to the Lightning starter within the commerce or free-agent markets. Their lack of salary cap space additional complicates issues. They’ll get cap aid with Vasilevskiy and his $9.5-million cap hit occurring long-term damage reserve. Nonetheless, they’re going to must be cap-compliant when he is able to return.
In different phrases, they want an affordable short-term substitute who might be buried within the minors or rapidly peddled elsewhere as soon as Vasilevskiy returns to the crease.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun prompt free-agent choices comparable to Jaroslav Halak or former Lightning Brian Elliott. Commerce or waiver targets may embrace Toronto’s Martin Jones, Pittsburgh’s Magnus Hellberg or Florida’s Anthony Stolarz.
Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin proposed pursuing Buffalo’s Eric Comrie or Calgary’s Daniel Vladar by way of the commerce market. Max Miller thinks San Jose’s Kaapo Kahkonen may curiosity the Lightning. Josh Wegman of The Score provided up Montreal’s Sam Montembeault or Cayden Primeau, Detroit’s Alex Lyon, Anaheim’s Alex Stalock or Louis Domingue of the New York Rangers.
The Canadiens aren’t parting with Montembeault, as he is pencilled in as their starter this season. Kahkonen’s $2.75-million annual cap hit is simply too costly for the Lightning as is Vladar’s $2.2 million. Even Comrie at $1.8 million seems to be out of their value vary. Primeau, Lyon, Stalock and Domingue are extra inexpensive choices however not a lot of an enchancment over Johansson and Tomkins.
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