Lightning Need to See More From the Savard Trade


One of many Tampa Bay Lightning’s unsung heroes from their run to the 2020 Stanley Cup was defenseman Zach Bogosian. As a participant picked up for nothing earlier than the 2020 commerce deadline, Bogosian was precisely what the franchise wanted to fill out their defensive corps. No, he wasn’t all the time excellent and he was even scratched a couple of video games, however he additionally frolicked up and down the line-up, typically taking over 20-plus minutes alongside Victor Hedman on the primary pairing, or appearing as a role-player on the underside pair.

Heading into the 2021 commerce deadline, it was clear that the Lightning needed to search out one other Bogosian to fill of their protection. The group lacked skilled depth on the precise facet, in any case, that means that one damage might have been deadly to their total defensive corps.

Whereas Zach Bogosian’s stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning was quick, he added wanted expertise to their defensive corps for the 2020 Playoffs. (Photograph by Scott Audette /NHLI through Getty Photos)

This led common supervisor Julien BriseBois to swing for the fences for a second straight deadline, pulling off a multi-team deal with a purpose to carry veteran defenseman David Savard to Tampa Bay. Whereas the deal was difficult, the reasoning behind it was easy, Savard was the perfect defenseman accessible that the group might squeeze underneath the cap (with some finagling, after all).

Nonetheless, now that the Lightning are deep right into a playoff run, we are able to begin to ask the all-important query… has Savard been well worth the value of admission?

Savard’s Play Has Been Merely Whelming

While you make a mid-season addition, you might be hoping to usher in a participant that may have an effect throughout the playoffs, even when it’s only for a couple of video games every collection. For instance, Bogosian arrange a handful of key targets for Tampa Bay, as he used his measurement and skill to make a play that the Lightning’s forwards have been in a position to money in on.

Whereas nobody was anticipating Savard to exit and drive the offense, he has but to attain some extent within the playoffs. This isn’t essentially a problem for the kind of participant he’s, however he additionally hasn’t been significantly noticeable off the scoresheet as properly. For instance, his superior stats have been fairly tough, with each his Corsi and Fenwick for sitting round 42 %.

David Savard Tampa Bay Lightning
As a serious addition on the 2021 commerce deadline, there have been massive expectations for what David Savard might carry to the Lightning this postseason. (Photograph by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire through Getty Photos)

These statistics don’t essentially showcase what he can carry every night time, however they do paint an image of a participant who isn’t making an actual affect on the ice. To date, Savard has been a stable choice as a bottom-six defenseman, however nothing he has carried out has been significantly notable.

Lightning Could Have Overthought the Deadline

As soon as once more, it is very important reiterate that Savard hasn’t been a foul defenseman for Tampa Bay. If he can keep wholesome and play a gradual recreation every night time, there will probably be no actual complaints from Lightning followers. The one actual problem is the truth that the group gave up a lot for him, particularly when in comparison with different choices accessible on the commerce deadline.

Even whether it is nonetheless spectacular that BriseBois managed to control the cap sufficient to swing the commerce, he did so by giving up a variety of draft capital. If Savard had come into the line-up and been a wholesome defenseman enjoying 20 minutes every night time within the top-four, then that capital would have been properly spent.

As a result of new system and what seems to be a nagging damage, this hasn’t occurred. As an alternative, Savard has been taking over time on the third-pairing, enjoying a extra restricted position with the group. With this, he’s trying extra like a participant that ought to have been a smaller addition on the deadline.

You solely have to take a look at the Carolina Hurricanes to see an instance of the sort of participant the Lightning might have acquired to fill this position. On the deadline, the Hurricanes acquired Jani Hakanpaa and a sixth-round choose from the Anaheim Geese for embattled defensive prospect Hayden Fleury. Whereas this wasn’t a small participant to surrender in a commerce, Fleury was now not within the group’s future plans, and Hakanpaa instantly crammed the necessity for a tricky bottom-pairing defenseman that each group needs to have on their roster.

Jani Hakanpaa Carolina Hurricanes
With the acquisition of Jani Hakanpaa on the commerce deadline, the Carolina Hurricanes bought a tricky depth defenseman with out having to commerce a variety of futures to retain wage so he might match underneath the cap. (Photograph by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI through Getty Photos)

All through the postseason, Hakanpaa performed all 11 video games for the Hurricanes, averaging about 17 minutes of ice time every night time. Whereas he didn’t rating some extent for the group, he led them in hits (49) and was tied for third in blocked pictures with 14. By comparability, Savard has 25 hits in eight video games, with simply six blocked pictures.

As soon as once more, this isn’t saying that Savard was the improper participant to amass, however that the associated fee was probably greater than the Lightning wanted to pay for his addition. Bear in mind, to ensure that Tampa Bay to get his contract underneath the cap, they needed to commerce a primary and third-round choose to Columbus so they might commerce him whereas retaining half of his wage, then needed to transfer a fourth-rounder to the Detroit Crimson Wings so they might retain extra of the cap hit.

In contrast, as a consequence of his $750,000 contract, Hakanpaa would have match underneath Tampa Bay’s cap, permitting them to solely ship a draft choose or prospect to Anaheim with out the necessity for different groups to tackle a portion of his contract. This is able to have introduced a participant with an analogous potential to the Lightning with out giving up different futures to make the transfer occur.

Lightning Weren’t Trying In direction of the Growth Draft

This issues for the Lightning this offseason as a result of impending Seattle Kraken enlargement draft. By buying and selling out so many draft picks over the past two seasons, the franchise is missing the instruments wanted to simply affect the Kraken’s choice. Now we are able to assume that BriseBois was taking this under consideration when he made this commerce, but it surely nonetheless might create a possible headache if that they had hoped to shed an undesirable contract.

Associated: Prime 5 Lightning By the First 10 Postseason Video games

The excellent news for the Lightning is that his commerce has been removed from a damaging for the franchise. Whereas he hasn’t made a huge effect on the ice, Savard has nonetheless been a helpful defensive piece to roll out within the backside six. Given the truth that they’re making their solution to the Convention Finals as soon as once more, he can have extra alternatives to showcase why BriseBois made this massive transfer for him on the deadline.


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