We have a very big trade rumor to report and it comes from one of the National Hockey League's top insiders.
For several weeks now we have all been anticipating some pretty big moves from the Tampa Bay Lightning given their current predicament as it pertains to the NHL salary cap, and we may finally have our first real clue as to how the Lightning intend to dig themselves out of this current hole. This week NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was a guest on 960 The Fan radio when he revealed that he had been hearing about a very interesting rumor involving the aforementioned Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings. Now any rumor involving these two teams is going to be easy to believe given the relationship between their two general managers. Current Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman was of course formerly the GM in Tampa Bay, and is largely credited with building the team that won the Stanley Cup this year, and current Lightning general manager Julien Brisebois was his protege.
What makes this rumor really interesting though is that it invoked the name of retired Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg.
"There's been a rumor going around, and it actually started in Europe, that they might trade for Zetterberg's LTIR in Detroit," revealed Friedman.
Although the news was unexpected it would make a lot of sense for Tampa Bay to consider such an option in their current predicament. The Red Wings are currently under the cap which means that having Zetterberg on LTIR or not doesn't really impact their salary cap situation. For a team like the Lightning however a contract that you can then place on LTIR would allow them to save cap space, assuming that there was money going back the other way to Detroit in the trade.
Friedman went on to share more details regarding the rumor.
"It actually makes sense to do that, depending on what they give up," said Friedman before adding "and the report has been Tyler Johnson."
Although adding Johnson for a dead contract would already be a huge win for the Red Wings, I suspect that Steve Yzerman would likely look to get an extra sweetener or two out of the Lightning, much like he did from the Rangers in the trade involving Jordan Staal, before agreeing to this deal.