Julien BriseBois Shakes Up Lightning Roster, No Deal With Stamkos Imminent

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) celebrates with the bench after scoring against the Calgary Flames during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Tampa, Fla
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Lighting General Manager Julien BriseBois shook up the Bolts roster while hunkered down at the NHL draft in Las Vegas striking a pair of trades, but the stalemate in contract negotiations with Steven Stamkos remains.

The Tampa Bay Lightning started the morning by trading defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to the Utah Hockey Club in exchange for defenseman J.J. Moser, forward Connor Greekie, a seventh-round draft pick in the 2024 draft (199th overall), and a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL draft.

Shortly after the ink dried on the press release announcing the Sergachev deal, the Lightning announced that they had traded forward Tanner Jeannot to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2024 draft (118th overall) and a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL draft.

The Lightning did not retain any of Sergachev’s ($8.5M) or Jeannot ($2.6) contract, which boost their open cap space to $16.5M .

According to Lightning General Manager Julien BriseBois, the trades today did not change the stalemate of the negotiations with Steven Stamkos. “I think  it’s in the best interest of our organization to explore all options in the coming days.: BriseBois said. “Whether it be trades or by getting to free agency and seeing how we can use this cap space to improve the makeup of our team.”

“As of now we’re both going to follow through with our due diligence, seeing what’s out there, and doing what’s best, it’s my responsibility to do what’s best for the Lightning organization and Steven has to do what’s best for him, his career and his family. Unless something changes between now and July 1 – and it doesn’t look like it will – we will get to July 1.”

The Lighting did get younger with the trades.  They did expand the cap space they now have to improve the team in free agency.  They have a very favorable team dynamic, favorable taxation, and star players that can be attractive to many free agents.

Additionally, as BriseBois added, “An unexpected consequence of this new found cap space today is that a number of teams are now reaching out about players that  may be available. They probably weren’t reaching out before because they could see I didn’t have any cap space and now they see the potential of trades. That’s another avenue that we’ll be exploring in the coming days here.”

When breaking down the days trades, BriseBois noted that the Bolts started the day with just five draft picks, little cap space, Tanner Jeannot and Mikhail Sergachev.

The Bolts end the day with seven draft picks, eleven picks in next year’s draft, a 24-year old top-4 defensemen, and a 20-year old first year pro in Connor Geekie.

That is a nice haul for one day’s work, but the lack of positive movement in sealing negotiations with Steven Stamkos is a bitter pill to swallow for many fans. There is still a chance that the two sides reach agreement on a long term contract, but the tenor of the statements from Julian BriseBois don’t sound like there is much momentum towards a deal.