Dobber’s 2021 Offseason Fantasy Grades – Tampa Bay Lightning

Michael Clifford


Dobber’s offseason fantasy hockey grades – Anaheim Ducks

For the last 18 years (12 with The Hockey News) Dobber has reviewed each team from a fantasy-hockey standpoint and graded them.

The 19th 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 both for the season ahead as well as the foreseeable future. Offensively, will the team perform? Are there plenty of depth options worthy of owning in keeper leagues? What about over the next two or three years? These questions are what I take into consideration when looking at the depth chart and the player potential on that depth chart.


Gone – Barclay Goodrow, Tyler Johnson, Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde, Mitchell Stephens, Luke Schenn, David Savard, Curtis McElhinney

Incoming – Charles Hudon, Brian Elliott, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Zach Bogosian, Corey Perry

Impact of Changes – Following their second Stanley Cup in as many years, it was time for some players to move on. The Lightning have a bevy of elite, high-priced players, and that means churning depth every year or two (like Pittsburgh did five years ago). The entire third line is gone, and that's a huge hole to fill. Tampa has some elite forwards, but so do teams like Boston, Toronto, and Pittsburgh. One of their competitive advantages was having a third line that could play against anyone and could score. That is now gone, and looking at the forwards they brought in, some of those roles could be filled internally – Hudon hasn't been an NHL regular for years while Bellemare and Perry could be hard-pressed to fill 15-16 minutes a night. While the loss of the third line means roles for the new additions, it's the guys that were already there that should benefit. We are talking guys like Ross Colton, Mathieu Joseph, and Alex Barré-Boulet. Those are the names that should be the biggest beneficiaries of the departures. The question is if they're ready for the minutes, Barré-Boulet in particular. He has blown the doors off in the AHL but had a tough first stint in the NHL in 2021 with just three points in 15 games. If the Lightning want to get back to a third straight Cup Final, they need these guys not only to step into the lineup but play an effective 15-16 minutes a night immediately. It could be a lot to ask, though Colton in particular showed real well in the postseason. But they will get the opportunity, and even on the third line, those could be fantasy-relevant minutes in that