Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning

Striking again: Tampa sends Thompson to Ducks for picks


Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman certainly did make Sunday a night to rest.

The Bolts added yet another trade to the mix tonight, as they sent forward Nate Thompson to Anaheim for the Ducks’ fourth and seventh-round picks in 2015.

Here’s a quick rundown of how different the Lightning look after today’s dealings:

No longer with the Lightning:

Thompson (now in Anaheim)
Sam Gagner (briefly in Tampa Bay, now in Arizona)
B.J. Crombeen (also in Arizona)
Ted Purcell (went to Edmonton in the trade that briefly made Gagner a member of the Lightning)

Lightning retain:

$1.6 million of Gagner’s salary

The Lightning receive the following picks:

Anaheim’s selections in the fourth and seventh-round
The Coyotes’ sixth-round pick

Tampa Bay receives cap relief:

When all the smoke clears, Cap Geek estimates that the Lightning end up with a little bit less than $8 million of cap space. They also bulked up on later-round picks, obviously.


So, the Lightning parted ways with Nate “Boucher” Thompson, whose apple-of-Guy-Boucher’s-eye status probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to relatively new Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper.

It’s plausible that the Lightning merely believe that their impressive set of young forwards will make the difference in all these personnel moves. Still, the far more interesting question is: which player(s) might the Lightning be targeting with this extra cap space?

It could be as fun to find out as it was strange to observe Sunday’s stream of events.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: