Steve Yzerman continues to be active at the deadline — the Tampa Bay GM has added another piece to his blueline by sending Matt Gilroy to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Brian Lee.
Gilroy, 27, was in his first season with the Lighting after spending two years with the New York Rangers. The 2009 Hobey Baker winner had 17 points in 53 games this year for the Lightning, playing over 17 minutes a night on Tampa’s second pairing (behind Victor Hedman and Eric Brewer.)
Lee, 24, was Ottawa’s first-round selection at the 2005 draft (ninth overall). He was in and out of the Senators lineup this year, appearing in just 35 contests after suffering a lower-body injury in early January. Lee had 1G-7A-8PTS this year, averaging just over 13 minutes a game.
With the emergence of youngsters Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen and the steadying presence of veterans like Sergei Gonchar, Filip Kuba and Chris Phillips, Lee struggled to find his niche on the Ottawa blueline — a problem he won’t face in Tampa, where gigs are pretty much up for grabs.
Gilroy is in the final year of a deal that pays $1 million annually and will be a UFA on July 1. Lee is an impending RFA, making $875,000 this season.