On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Lightning moved veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators in order to free up salary contract space. As a result of McDonagh waiving his no-trade clause, the Predators made a trade with the Lightning in exchange for defenseman Philippe Myers and winger Grant Mismash. A $6.75 million average annual value is attached to McDonagh’s deal for the next four years.
I wouldn’t have asked Ryan McDonagh to waive his no-trade clause had we lived in a salary-cap environment where he was guaranteed four more years of service, Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said on Sunday.
On Wednesday, BriseBois and McDonagh discussed the decision face-to-face. “Not the most pleasant thing I’ve had to do in my stint as general manager, but I’m sure it was even more difficult for him because I know he didn’t want to leave the Lightning,” BriseBois said.
While appearing in 71 games and scoring 26 points, Ryan McDonagh had a solid season. With the New York Rangers this season, his 5-on-5 ice time average was the highest it had been in his career (17:50). (17:56). Since the start of the 2018-19 season, he has averaged 1.04 points per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 situations (1.46).
After being acquired by the Lightning in a February 2018 trade with the Rangers, McDonagh played in the NHL for over four seasons in Tampa Bay. Both of his championship teams included him as a key cog in a second defensive tandem behind star Victor Hedman.
Ondrej Palat, a longstanding winger and playoff hero, is an unrestricted free agent, and the Lightning was desperate to create salary-cap flexibility after losing to the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Final.
“It provides us the ability to potentially re-sign Palat or Rutta or address voids that need to be filled on the free-agent market or the trade market,” BriseBois added. There is also the possibility that we could fill those gaps internally.
“I believe it gives us the ability to make sure we can prolong it beyond a single season. ” We’ve freed up some cap room for this year, 2022-23, but more significantly, we’ve freed up some cap space for 2023-24 and beyond, which I think will allow us to secure the rights to Anthony Cirelli, Mikhail Sergachev, and Erik Cernak for years to come.”
The Predators acquired Myers from the Philadelphia Flyers in the Ryan Ellis trade last summer. He appeared in 27 games for Nashville last year, averaging 14:52 of ice time per game. It appears that buying out Myers’ contract will provide Lightning with a $616,666 cap credit for next season and $633,334 in dead salary space for the 2023-24 season.
Though Myers has only one more season of restricted free agency remaining, BriseBois stated the team intends to work with him.
In fact, he’s been a favorite of ours since high school. The toolset is fantastic. When he was in Philly, he had a good impression of us. In Philadelphia and Nashville last season, BriseBois added, “for some reason, things didn’t work out for him.” “He’s just 25 years old. This 6-foot-5 defenseman has a good deal of strength, as well as some size.
Despite his youth, he’s already an accomplished skateboarder. His skating can be improved, as we’ve been able to do for other players in the past. Despite his small stature, he has an incredible shot. We believe he has enough potential to warrant our aid in bringing it to fruition.”
As a rookie with the Milwaukee Admirals of Nashville’s AHL club in 2021-22, 23-year-old Mismash recorded six goals and 12 points. He graduated from the University of North Dakota.
When Roman Josi ($9.059M) joins McDonagh ($6.75M), the Predators will have three defensemen with budget hits above $6 million, all of whom are under contract through 2026. Just over $18 million in cap space is available to the team, according to Cap Friendly’s data. Before the start of unrestricted free agency, forward Filip Forsberg is still without a deal.
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