Every year around this time we like to take a look at how the team is doing in the NHL in order to get an idea on how the team is going to look next season. The first and major reason we like to do this is because we need to endure a hard cap of 45 million in the NEFHL and if my RFA's to be are off to hot starts that is something we need to be considering while making trades throughout the season. When the team is a Stanley Cup contender like we were last season, you worry a bit less about next year and more about winning right now and worry about the repercussions in the off season. Unfortunately as it stands right now, the lightning are outside of the playoffs. I believe that this team can still make the playoffs and once we get there anything can happen, however if there's an opportunity for us to improve our team for next year and future years we would need to take advantage of such opportunities even if it were to hurt out chances for this season. In this article, I will be looking at our crop of forwards.
Patrice Bergeron 80 OV - 3 years at 3.75 million dollars. NHL : 34 GP 5 G 5 A
Bergeron is having an awful nhl season so far and is looking at a decrease in NEFHL ratings for next season. Bergeron however is a proven commodity and likely to snap out of his slump. Since Bergeron has amazing ratings at a reasonable price, I would be foolish not to look at a potential trade here if someone wanted to offer me a younger NHL center and top end prospect or pick.
Brandon Dubinsky 78 OV - 1 year at 2.1 million dollars. NHL : 31 GP 3G 8A
Dubinsky is also having an awful start to the season. He is going to be our protected player for this season which could be pretty good timing as we will be able to lock him up cheap for 4 seasons. That being said, he has very nice ratings and a great contract for this year so we are in the same situation as bergeron should someone want to make us an offer .
David Krejci 75 OV - 3 years at 1.65 million dollars. NHL: 37 GP 7G 15A
Though Krejci is having a bit of a down year, it's nowhere near as bad as Dubi and Bergy. He has great ratings an even better contract therefore we are definitely not looking to move krejci at this time. It would be easier to get one of our other two centers at this point.
Lars Eller 71 OV - 2 years at 1.585 million dollars. NHL : 32 GP 3G 3A
Eller really isn't performing as we hoped with a change of scenery in Washington.
Markus Granlund 64 OV - 4 years at 850 K per. NHL: 36 GP 7G 7A
Right now, Granlund would be our second best offensive center next year ahead of bergeron dubinsky and eller which is a scary thought. Either way, we are happy with his progress and should be a good cheap 4th line center for future seasons
Filip Forsberg 79 OV - 1 year 950 K per. NHL: 34 GP 6G 14A
Forsberg is having an awful start to the season but this may be a blessing in disguise as he's an RFA to be at season end. He is our franchise forward so he is not moving and we will be live and die with this young sniper.
Mikael Granlund 71 OV - 2 years 950 K per. NHL : 34 GP 8G 17A
We've been waiting a while but it seems as though Granlund is finally looking like he'll be able to be used as a legitimate to 6 forward next season!
Bryan Rust 68 OV - 1 year 750K per. NHL: 34 GP 10G 6A
Bryan is playing great in Pittsburgh this season after his coming out part in the playoffs last year. If he can find a way to be a consisten 15 to 20 goal scorer in the nhl we will be thrilled to place him on our 3rd line for years to come!
Patrick Hornqvist 75 OV - 3 years at 3.85 million per. NHL: 31 GP 8G 13A
Patrick is doing what Patrick does. He has the potential to increase his point rate but that rate at that contract is just fine for the next 3 seasons
Tyler Johnson 72 OV - 1 year at 880K per. NHL: 36 GP 11G 10A
Isn't quite puting up the offensive numbers of 2 seasons ago but is doing better than last season. it's a contract year for Tyler and he's part of our long term plans so we are happy so far with the numbers no matter if he picks it up or keeps at this pace.
Mikkel Boedker 75 OV - 4 years at 2.75 million per. NHL: 35 GP 2G 5A
We made a big long term commitment to Boedker this past off season and to say that we are dissapointed in his NHL production is quite an understatement. He is on a new team, playing in a new system but that production has to improve. He does have good NEFHL ratings so we would entertain trade options on him but we won't be giving him away.
We really like our forward depth but unfortunately quite a few of our guys are off to slow starts in the NHL and arguably in the NEFHL as well. There is still some time before the trade deadline and time before we need to make any decisions but this could be a very pivotal season in terms of trades for the future of the lightning franchise.