Leafs and Lightning linked in trade talks after Vasilevsky surgery
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Leafs and Lightning linked in trade talks after Vasilevsky surgery

NHL insider Pierre LeBrun with the latest.



Earlier today the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky has undergone surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. He'll miss at least the first two months of the season while he recovers from the procedure.

Obviously this is a shocking development that puts the Lightning in an incredibly difficult situation. They now enter a pivotal season in their competitive window with Jonas Johansson as their starting netminder. Not great. Not great, at all.

Read below for the official press release announcement from the Lightning:

TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy underwent a successful microdiscectomy this morning to address a lumbar disc herniation, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today.

Vasilevskiy is expected to miss approximately the first two months of the regular season.

I don't expect that Lightning GM Julien Brisebois will sit on his hands while the team struggles in goal. There are already reports out there that he's scouring the market for some help between the pipes.

Incidentally, the Vancouver Canucks placed backup Spencer Martin on waivers today, so the Lightning could put in a claim if they so choose. The thing is... I don't know if Martin is an upgrade on Johansson really. A much better option might be veteran Martin Jones of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who is also at risk of being placed on waivers in the next week.

The Leafs already have Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll on their roster and all three goaltenders are eligible for waivers. This means that the Leafs will have to waive either Woll or Jones before the official start of the regular season.

Leafs insider Michael DiStefano highlights both Jones and Martin options for the Lightning, but also mentions the likes of Alex Lyon and Eric Comrie as options, as well.

Check it out:

Dan Vladar, Kevin Lankinen and James Reimer likely aren't available for a price that the Lightning are comfortable with, but I bet they could swing a deal for Jones if they're willing to do business within the division. Stay tuned.

Source: Pierre LeBrun