Reports and rumors involving the Lightning leading up to the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 26:
A smaller move could pay big dividends
If you look at the history of recent Stanley Cup champions, their pivotal moves were subtle, not splashy, the Times' Joe Smith writes. The Blackhawks squad that beat the Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup final benefitted from acquiring veteran Antoine Vermette. As it turns out, a veteran bottom-six center like Vermette, the Oilers' Mark Letestu or the Wild's Matt Cullen could make sense for the Lightning.
Lightning is best fit for Wings’ Mike Green
Tampa Bay is the most likely destination for Mike Green, who has agreed to waive his no-trade clause if a deal with the Lightning can be made, MLive.com reports. The teams have had many discussions and continue to talk. Detroit would like Tampa Bay's first-round pick this year, according to the story. If they have to settle for a second-rounder, the Red Wings also will want a young player who can step into their lineup next season.
What might Mike Green cost Lightning?
The Lightning is looking to bolster its blue line, and Detroit's Mike Green is among the potential targets. Green, in the final year of his contract, would likely be a rental if he is traded. Could he be a fit in Tampa Bay? A lot of this depends on the price, the Times' Joe Smith writes.
Will Lightning enter the Rick Nash sweepstakes?
The Lightning is among a half dozen teams interested in veteran Rangers wing Rick Nash, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. The Bruins, Predators, Maple Leafs, Blues and Sharks are reported to be interested in the three-time, 40-goal scorer, as well. "There is no more attractive top-six, complete-game, secondary-scoring winger available on the rental market," Brooks writes.
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Could McDonagh put Bolts over the top?
The Lightning getting Ryan McDonagh "would just be unfair for the rest of the league," says USA Today's Jimmy Hascup, who has the Bolts ranked atop his power rankings. Detroit's Mike Green could be a potential rental, as well.
To Mike Green and beyond?
With general manager Steve Yzerman and Lightning scouts in Detroit recently to watch the Red Wings, Craig Custance of The Athletic suggests the Bolts might be interested in more than just Wings defenseman Mike Green.
Overpaying at deadline won’t guarantee Cup
Though an Erik Karlsson deal is not impossible, it's a long shot, the Times' Joe Smith writes. First, Karlsson, who can be an unrestricted free agent in 2019, would have to tell the Senators there's no chance he's re-signing. Then the Lightning would have to give up a king's ransom for him. And the Lightning doesn't appear interested in parting with top young pieces.
Will Lightning suit Red Wings defenseman?
Bob McKenzie of TSN says Red Wings defenseman Mike Green "absolutely" will be traded. Because Green has a no-trade clause, he will make the decision about where he goes. McKenzie believes "the best suitor" would be a team like the Lightning.
Lightning may have a trade partner in Rangers
There is "definitely mutual interest" in exploring whether a match can be made to rejoin Ryan McDonagh with former teammates Ryan Callahan and Ryan Callahan in Tampa Bay, writes Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
Bolts’ Cup prospects could help lure McDonagh
Ryan McDonagh has a modified no-trade clause with a list of 10 teams where he'd accept a trade, so the Lightning, as a Stanley Cup contender, should be attractive to the Rangers defenseman, the Times' Joe Smith writes. New York had a scout at a recent Tampa Bay game in Edmonton, and a Lightning representative watched the Rangers in Dallas.
Sens defenseman could be the right fit
The Lightning would like to add a right-shot defenseman, and the Senators' Cody Ceci "would fit the bill," writes Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has pursued Ceci before, Garrioch writes, but with the Lightning hoping to make a Stanley Cup run, the Sens are "listening".
Don’t get attached to your Erik Karlsson dreams
Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson spent All-Star weekend at the home of his good friend and fellow Swede Victor Hedman and played alongside Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov during the 3-on-3 tournament. But a permanent reunion in Tampa Bay is a pipe dream, the Times' Joe Smith writes. The Lightning could take cheaper routes for an upgrade, which may be more likely.
Karlsson deal could be a non-starter
Ottawa will want so much in return for Erik Karlsson, it would offset any gain the Lightning would experience by trading for the Senators defenseman, Matt Larkin of The Hockey News writes. A deal for Karlsson, whom Larkin calls "one of the greatest players of his generation", would have to include an "excellent, young-core player" such as a Brayden Point or Mikhail Sergachev, either of whom Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is unlikely to part with. "I don't see a Karlsson deal working for either side," Larkin writes.