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Three questions concerning the Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL.com gives evaluation for every of its 32 groups from August 8 to September 2018. 8. As we speak, three necessary questions dealing with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

[Lightning 32 in 32: Season preview | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown]

1. Sure Brandon Hagel end in a profession within the high six?

When the Lightning acquired Hagel in a commerce with the Chicago Blackhawks on March 18 for forwards Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchuk and unconditional first-round picks within the 2023 NHL Draft and 2024 NHL Draft, he hoped the 24-year-old may go on to develop into a constant 30-goal scorer.

He had 21 targets in 55 video games with the Blackhawks earlier than the commerce, however had 4 in 22 common season video games and two in 23 playoff video games with the Lightning. He additionally sustained a damaged leg in Sport 2 of the Jap Convention Second Spherical towards the Florida Panthers, which compelled coach Jon Cooper to maneuver him to extra of a defensive position than one the place he may create offense.

Hagel will likely be reliant on offensive output this season, and will begin the season within the high six with Act of Palat depart in free company and Anthony Cirelli out perhaps till December recovering from offseason shoulder surgical procedure.

Video: TBL@TOR, Gm2: Hagel’s swats sneak into the online

2. How will they be affected by Palat’s departure and Ryan McDonagh?

To keep up flexibility beneath the NHL wage cap, the Lightning couldn’t match the five-year, $30 million contract (common annual worth of $6 million) ahead Palat signed with the New Jersey Devils on July 14, and traded defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators on July 3.

Palat had spent his total 10-season profession with the Lightning. The 31-year-old ahead was a key a part of the Stanley Cup championships in 2020 and 2021 and tied for the Tampa Bay lead with 11 targets within the playoffs final season.

“He’ll go down as the best Tampa Bay Lightning participant of all time,” Lightning basic supervisor Julien BriseBois mentioned. “He was an enormous a part of our win.”

Hagel, Nicholas Paul and Ross Colton that may very well be in line for extra ice time going ahead with Palat gone.

McDonagh was traded to the Predators on July 3 for an outfielder Philippe Myers and ahead wanting Grant Mismash. The 33-year-old defenseman has been an everyday presence over the previous 5 seasons for the Lightning, most not too long ago on the second pairing with Erik Cernak.

Mikhail Sergachevwho signed an eight-year, $68 million ($8.5 million AAV) contract extension on July 13, to up his sport with McDonagh gone.

“I might anticipate Mikhail Sergachev to be requested to play a much bigger position,” BriseBois mentioned. “He is prepared and proper for these tasks.”

3. Can they keep wholesome?

The wear and tear and tear of three consecutive Stanley Cup Closing appearances started within the 2022 postseason and can depart the Lightning brief to start out this season.

Cirelli and defendant Zach Bogosian every had offseason shoulder surgical procedure after the ultimate, and BriseBois expects every to return in November or December.

Heart Braiden Level he sustained a tear in his proper quad that induced him to overlook 14 playoff video games, and on Nikita Kucherov performed by a sprained MCL throughout the playoffs. Every is predicted to be prepared when the New York Rangers’ season begins on October 11.

If Tampa Bay goals to stay a Stanley Cup contender, it wants its high gamers to remain wholesome.

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