The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defensemen David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three team deal with the Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning also acquired defenseman Brian Lashoff from Detroit, while sending a 2021 first round pick and a 2022 3rd round pick to the Blue Jackets, and a 2021 4th round pick to Detroit. The Blue Jackets retained 50% of Savard's salary, while Detroit retained 25% of his original salary.
The Lightning have a ton of strong left-handed defensemen, but they lacked defenders on the right side. Savard is a great defensive defenseman, and while he does not bring much to the table offensively, he should be a great fit to play on the right of Norris candidate Victor Hedman. The three draft picks, including a first is a steep price, especially for a pending UFA. But, Tampa Bay's cap situation got them into this. Considering this year's buyer market, it is odd that they had to give up a first and a third for Savard, but the Lightning have shown that they are willing to overpay for fits. Last trade deadline they dealt recent first rounder Nolan Foote and two first rounders for Blake Coleman, Barclay Goodrow and a 3rd round pick in two separate trades. Savard will definitely help them in their own zone during their run to a second Stanley Cup in a row. However, he played second pairing minutes in Columbus, and that could now be jacked up. They will pay just $1.062 million, or 75% of Savard's $4.25 million cap hit towards the veteran, although it will be less in actual money. Lashoff has NHL experience, and played in 75 games in 2013-14, but he is just an AHLer at this point. He will stay put in Grand Rapids, Detroit's AHL team, as Tampa Bay is re-assigning him there.
Savard, 30, has one goal with five assists for six points in 40 games plus 89 blocked shots and 95 hits in 40 games for the Blue Jackets this year. In his NHL career, all in Columbus, Savard has scored 41 goals with 125 assists for 166 points with 958 blocked shots and 1117 hits in 597 games.
Lashoff, 30, has scored one goal with two assists for three points in 13 games for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins this year. In his NHL career, all in Detroit, Lashoff has scored two goals with 13 assists for 15 points in 136 games.
The Blue Jackets are big winners here, getting a first and a third for Savard when he is a pending UFA, and the market seems to be low. The first round pick could very well be in the 30-32 range overall, as Tampa Bay looks stacked again. It seemed unlikely that they could get a first, and they ended up getting a third round pick as well. Savard was a 4th round pick back in 2009, and he ended up playing nearly 600 games for the Jackets, good enough for 4th in franchise history, two behind captain Nick Foligno, who could soon leave as well.
Detroit are the real winners of this trade, just in pure value. They spend $1.062 million against the cap (about $242k in real life) just for this year so they can buy a 4th round pick. That is great value, and while they do give up Lashoff, they don't need him in the NHL, and he can still go to Grand Rapids, so it doesn't affect AHL team chemistry.