NHL Rumors: Tampa Bay Lighting looking to trade Ryan McDonagh, re-sign Ondrej Palat

Ryan McDonagh Ondrej Palat
Apr 29, 2022; Elmont, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) celebrates the goal by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the New York Islanders during the third period at UBS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lighting have been up against the cap year after year. That’s one of the drawbacks of winning Cups and being in it every season. Which is a huge credit to GM Julien BriseBois to keep the team competitive with fresh new blood whenever the lose key players.

One player that everyone had them sure to lose this summer was Ondrej Palat.

Palat, 31, is coming off a contract that came with a cap hit of $5.3M. This past season, he registered 18 goals and 49 points in 77 games. His playoff performance was an entirely different matter with 11 goals and 21 points in 23 games.

BriseBois recently stated that he’s going to make an attempt to re-sign him.

Lightning looking to keep Palat, trade McDonagh

NHL Rumors Ryan McDonagh
Jun 22, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) against the Colorado Avalanche during game four of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

So just how will the Bolts, who need to shed $1.9M just to become cap compliant be able to retain Palat?

Well the answer appears to have come from Elliotte Friedman.

According to multiple sources, the Lightning are working with Ryan McDonagh to see if there’s another team he’d consider a trade to. It’s a very, very hard thing for Tampa to think about. McDonagh’s still a tremendous player (he was on the ice for the last shift to preserve the team’s Game 5 victory in Denver that prolonged the Stanley Cup Final) and is hugely popular among his teammates, who were disappointed to hear of the possibility. It’s not what Tampa wants to do, but may have to do.

Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet

Trading McDonagh is going to be extremely difficult and will likely require Tampa to eat some of his $6.75M cap hit. The biggest hurdle has already been overcome by getting McDonagh to partially waive his full no-move clause.

McDonagh, 33, recorded 26 points in 71 games for the Lightning during the 2021-22 season. In the playoffs, he added another 5 points in 23 games and played with a bad finger in the Final.

There should certainly be a market for McDonagh, who is a proven winner and will bring Stanley Cup winning defense to a contender.

In the end, the Lightning still have a lot of work to do this summer so there could be more changes.