NHL Rumors – Vancouver Canucks and Tampa Bay Lightning Changes?
Change And The Vancouver Canucks Feel Inevitable

Thomas Drance and Harmon Dayal of The Athletic: Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect offseason. However, there are hypotheticals that could make this Vancouver Canucks’ offseason come close.

This requires Vancouver spending up to the salary cap which could be a tough ask since they dropped into the bottom third. Also, the Canucks are assumed not to be tearing things down. Let’s begin.

A three-year bridge deal with Brock Boeser would help. That brings down any $7.5 million qualifying offer and allows some flexibility. It will cost a signing bonus as well but better than the alternative.

Trading some of the top-six to help keep the band mostly together. Moving a player like J.T. Miller is a reality. Connor Garland likely would be the next target. Some in Vancouver do not believe Bo Horvat will be moved.

Vancouver needs a top-four defender like Kris Letang. That requires a market shakedown. Other needs include goaltending depth, acquiring more draft picks, and gambling well on upside forwards.

Either way, it is going to be an intriguing summer in Vancouver. Management has quite a challenge on their hands.

Tampa Bay’s Summer Of Less Uncertainty

Joe Smith of The Athletic: Tampa Bay wants to win a third Stanley Cup in four years. However, quite a few pieces need a resolution this summer so the Lightning can move forward.

Thanks to Brent Seabrook’s LTIR, Tampa can exceed the cap by $6.875 million. The Lightning do not have a mass exodus like last year but Ondrej Palat, Jan Rutta, and Riley Nash carry significance – especially Palat.

Now, Nick Paul became a postseason hero of sorts and just signed a seven-year deal at $3.15 million AAV. That’s one cog.

That leaves Palat. This likely is his last chance at a long-term deal and any chance he makes less than $5 million on this one is zero. Some models start low but Tampa cannot afford to lose this one. Expect something between $5.3-$5.8 million with more term possibly as an enticement.

Whether he stays is the question. After that, it’s about depth and tying up loose ends. For Tampa, Palat is vital.