Dobber’s Offseason Fantasy Grades: Tampa Bay Lightning

Cam Robinson

2017-09-10

Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Tampa Bay Lightning

For the last 14 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.

This year, due to Dobber’s battle with cancer, he recruited Cam Robinson (of Frozen Pool Forensics fame) to pinch hit. The 15th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.

Enjoy!

GoneJonathan Drouin, Jason Garrison, Joel Vermin, Nikita Gusev, Mike Halmo, Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, Tanner Richard, Matt Taormina, Kristers Gudlevskis, Greg McKegg, Mike McKenna, Bryon Froese, Luke Witkowski, Bokondji Imama

Incoming – Mikhail Sergachev, Chris Kunitz, Dan Girardi, Jamie McBain, Michael Leighton, Carter Verhaeghe, Alex Gallant, Mat Bodie

Impact of changes – Sometimes a relationship is just too dented to bounce back from. We’ll likely never know the extent of the damage done by Drouin and his camp when they sat out of action and demanded a trade out of Tampa back in the spring of 2016. Whatever the prose, we now know the conclusion and Steve Yzerman’s patience paid off. In exchange for wildly-talented winger who was looking for his pay day, the Lightning secured one of the game’s top defensive prospects in Sergachev. The left-shot defender will push for a job in camp and could bring an immediate impact in a secondary role. The team signed three-time cup champion Kunitz to a one-year deal in hopes of using his experience during a deep run. Garrison’s departure to Vegas (along with Gusev to secure the team didn’t lose a quality young forward) is filled by Girardi in what can only be seen a significant downgrade.

Ready for full-time Mikhail Sergachev didn’t have the best draft-plus one campaign. His point-per-game output increased by the slimmest of margins and he struggled in a leadership role with the Russians at the World Junior Championships. It doesn’t change the fact that he is the owner of some tremendous physical abilities and should be capable of playing in the league this fall. There is a Jekyll and Hyde decision ahead for Yzerman and Cooper to navigate though. 

On the one hand, the Lightning currently have seven defenders on one-way contracts that all need to clear waivers to be sent down. This won’t be an easy line up to crack.

On the other hand, part of the deal with Montre