After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2021-22 regular season, which starts Oct. 12. Today, the Tampa Bay Lightning:
2020-21 season: 36-17-3, third in Discover Central Division; won Stanley Cup
Corey Perry, F: The 36-year-old signed a two-year contract July 29 after losing to the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final the past two seasons, with the Dallas Stars in 2019-20 and the Montreal Canadiens last season. Perry scored 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 49 regular-season games with Montreal last season and 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games. … Brian Elliott, G: The 36-year-old signed a one-year contract July 28 to back up Andrei Vasilevskiy. Elliott was 15-9-2 with a 3.06 goals-against average, an .889 save percentage and two shutouts in 30 games (26 starts) with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. … Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, F: The 36-year-old signed a two-year contract July 28. He scored 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in 53 regular-season games with the Colorado Avalanche last season and had three assists in 10 playoff games. … Zach Bogosian, D: The 31-year-old signed a three-year contract July 28 to return to the Lightning after winning the Stanley Cup with them in 2020. Last season, Bogosian had four assists in 45 regular-season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and one assist in seven playoff games.
Barclay Goodrow, F: The Lightning lost their entire third line this offseason, including Goodrow, who was traded to the New York Rangers on July 17 for a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and signed a six-year contract with them five days later. Goodrow, who could have become an unrestricted free agent, scored 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 55 regular-season games last season and six points (two goals, four assists) in 18 playoff games. … Yanni Gourde, F: The third-line center was selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21 after scoring 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 56 regular-season games and seven points (six goals, one assist) in 23 playoff games last season. … Blake Coleman, F: The other member of the third line, Coleman signed a six-year contract with the Calgary Flames on July 28 after scoring 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 55 regular-season games and 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 23 playoff games last season. … Tyler Johnson, F: He was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks on July 27 for defenseman Brent Seabrook, who announced March 5 that he was ending his playing career because of a hip injury, and a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Johnson scored 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 55 regular-season games and seven points (four goals, three assists) in 23 playoff games last season. … David Savard, D: He signed a four-year contract with the Canadiens on July 28. Savard didn’t have a point in 14 regular-season games with the Lightning after being acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 10, but he had five assists in 20 playoff games. … Luke Schenn, D: He signed a two-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks on July 28 after scoring four points (two goals, two assists) in 38 regular-season games and one goal in eight playoff games last season. … Curtis McElhinney, G: An unrestricted free agent, McElhinney was 4-6-2 with a 3.09 GAA, an .875 save percentage and one shutout in 12 games as Vasilevskiy’s backup last season.
On the cusp
Alex Barre-Boulet, F: The 24-year-old, who signed as a free agent March 1, 2018, scored three goals in 15 games with the Lightning and 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in 10 games with Syracuse of the American Hockey League last season. … Taylor Raddysh, F: The 23-year-old, who was selected in the second round (No. 58) of the 2016 NHL Draft, scored 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 27 games with Syracuse last season. … Boris Katchouk, F: The 23-year-old, who was also selected in the second round (No. 44) of the 2016 draft, led Syracuse with 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 29 games last season.
What they still need
Forward depth. Signing Perry helps, but Tampa Bay might need to acquire another forward if its prospects aren’t able to replace the production the third and fourth lines lost with the departures of Goodrow, Gourde, Coleman and Johnson.
They said it
“All of the premium positions are pretty much filled right now on our team. They’re filled with really good players still in their prime. That’s why I believe there’s a lot of reason to believe we can continue to compete for the Stanley Cup over the next few years.” — general manager Julien BriseBois
Ondrej Palat scored 46 points (15 goals, 31 assists) in 55 regular-season games and 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 23 playoff games last season. The left wing plays with elite forwards Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point at even strength and on the first power-play unit, and his hits coverage (82 in 55 games) makes him even more valuable in standard leagues. Palat could have additional motivation in a contract year (potential 2022 unrestricted free agent) this season. — Rob Reese
Ondrej Palat — Brayden Point — Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn — Anthony Cirelli — Steven Stamkos
Alex Barre-Boulet — Ross Colton — Corey Perry
Pat Maroon — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Mathieu Joseph
Victor Hedman — Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh — Erik Cernak
Mikhail Sergachev — Cal Foote