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The Tampa Bay Lightning forced Ryan McDonagh to waive his no trade clause

The Tampa Bay Lightning are already making trades, they were one of the last two teams left in the playoffs, and are now one of the first teams making trades this summer. They traded away defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators, who in return sent Defenseman Filippe Myers and Forward Grant Mismash.

Ryan McDonagh, a 33 year old American defensemen, spent 5 seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning after being traded from the New York Rangers back in the 2017-2018 season. McDonagh played 267 regular season games with the Lightning, putting up 99 points. He played 89 playoff games in his 5 years with the Lightning, putting up 23 points, and helping the Lightning win back-to-back Stanley Cups, and then reaching this final this season. McDonagh was a top 4 defenseman all 5 years in Tampa Bay.

Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

This trade happened for one reason, cap space. The Lightning have always been close to the cap, even over the cap sometimes, but we don’t talk about that. McDonagh still has four more years left on his contract, and is almost a $7M cap hit. Tampa Bay recently re-signed Nick Paul to a 7 year extension worth $3.1 per year, they also want to potentially re-sign Ondrej Palat, who had 21 points in 23 playoff games this season for the Lightning. The Lightning will also need to sign defenseman Mikhail Sergachev next summer, who is only 24 years old, and a very good player. Safe to say the Lightning have a lot of work to do trying to balance the books and keep the team at the highest level.

“If we didn’t live in a flat salary-cap world, it would never have crossed my mind to ask Ryan McDonagh to waive his no-trade clause because I would’ve been ecstatic to know that I had him under contract for four more years,”

tampa bay lightning gm julien brisebois

McDonagh had a no trade clause in his contract, but he was asked to waive it by the Lightning, and he did, but the situation wasn’t that easy though. According to Nick Kypreos, who spoke on Elliotte Friedman’s show, he said “if he didn’t agree to be traded, he was going to be waived and Tampa had a commitment from Columbus to claim him.” This means that essentially, Ryan McDonagh was forced to pick between either the Columbus Blue Jackets or the Nashville Predators as his next destination.

Pretty shocking stuff from the Lightning considering how much Ryan McDonagh has done for the hockey club, but it looks like the Lightning staff will do anything to keep a successful business, even if its by doing some less respected things like this.

Now in terms of how this frees up cap space, considering Myers only has a $2.5M cap hit for the 2022-2023 season, they free up over $4M dollars. The Tampa Bay Lightning GM spoke highly on the young defenseman, saying this:

“He’s only 25 years old. He’s a 6-foot-5 defensemen with size and some physicality. He’s a quality skater. Can improve his skating; in the past, we’ve been able to work with players and make them better skaters. He has a huge shot. We figure there are enough tools there that intrigue us enough to work with him and help him reach the potential we saw not too much long ago.”

Lightning gm julien brisebois
VIA NHL / PHILADELPHIAFLYERS.COM

Grant Mismash played in the AHL last season, putting up 12 points in 57 games. He spent 4 years at the University of North Dakota, putting up over 70 points across his 4 seasons at the college level.

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