Tampa Bay Lightning trade Ryan McDonagh to Nashville Predators

The Tampa Bay Lightning traded veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators on Sunday to make room under the NHL salary cap.

The Predators sent defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Grant Mismash to Lightning for 33-year-old McDonagh, who waived his no-trade clause to help seal the deal. McDonagh has four more seasons left at an average annual value of $6.75 million.

“If we didn’t live in a world with flat salary caps, it would never have occurred to me to ask Ryan McDonagh to waive his no-trade clause because I would have been thrilled to know that I had him for four.” Years under contract had more years,” Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said on Sunday.

BriseBois met in person with McDonagh on Wednesday regarding the decision.

“Not the nicest thing I’ve had to do during my tenure as general manager, but I’m sure it made it even more uncomfortable for him knowing he didn’t want to leave Lightning,” BriseBois said.

McDonagh played 71 games this season and scored 26 points. He averaged 17:50 ice time in 5-on-5 that season, which was his highest since 2013-14 with the New York Rangers (17:56). His 1.04 points per 60 minutes in 5-a-side was his highest rate since 2018-19 (1.46).

McDonagh spent more than four seasons with the Lightning after being traded from Rangers to Tampa Bay in February 2018. He was an integral part of their back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, anchoring a second defensive pairing behind star Victor Hedman.

But after losing to the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Lightning held talks with McDonagh about removing his trade protection as they desperately tried to create salary cap flexibility – potentially around longtime winger and playoff hero Ondrej Palat new to sign , who is an unrestricted free agent.

“It gives us the flexibility to potentially re-sign Palat or [defenseman Jan] Rutta or address holes that need to be filled in the free agent market or the traded market,” BriseBois said. “Or these holes could be filled organically from our organization.

“I think it allows us to make sure we can make sure we extend it beyond one season. We’ve cleared some cap space for this year 2022-23 but more importantly we’ve cleared some cap space for 2023-24 and 2023-24 beyond which will hopefully allow us to claim the rights to Anthony Cirelli , Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak for years to come.”

Myers was acquired by the Predators last summer in Ryan Ellis’ trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. He played 27 games with Nashville last season, averaging 14:52 in the Ice Age. According to Cap Friendly, purchasing the remaining year of Myers’ deal would earn the Lightning $616,666 in cap credit for next season and $633,334 in dead cap space in the 2023-24 season.

However, BriseBois said the plan is to work with Myers, who has a $2.55 million season against the cap before restricted free agency.

“We liked that he went back to his junior days. We really like the tool box. We liked him in Philly. For some reason it didn’t work out for him in Philly and Nashville last season,” BriseBois said. “He’s only 25 years old. He’s a 6ft 5 defender with height and some physicality. He’s a quality skater. Can improve his skating; in the past we’ve been able to work with players and make them better skaters. He has a huge chance. We believe there are enough tools that fascinate us enough to work with him and help him reach the potential that we saw not long ago.

The 23-year-old Mismash appeared in 57 games for the Milwaukee Admirals, Nashville’s AHL affiliate, in 2021-22, scoring six goals and 12 points in his rookie season. It is a product of the University of North Dakota.

McDonagh gives the Predators three defenders with a $6+ million cap hit: Roman Josi ($9.059 million), McDonagh ($6.75 million) and Mattias Ekholm ($6.25 million). ), all of whom are under contract until 2026. According to Cap Friendly, they have 18 players under contract and just over $18 million in Cap Space. Striker Filip Forsberg, one of their top scorers, remains unsigned in front of the unrestricted free hand.

https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/34189139/tampa-bay-lightning-trade-ryan-mcdonagh-nashville-predators Tampa Bay Lightning trade Ryan McDonagh to Nashville Predators

Emma Bowman

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