Ryan McDonagh has been traded!

We have a trade!

Jonathan Larivee

The Tampa Bay Lightning have done it again.

According to an official announcement from Lightning general manager Julien Brisebois, via the team's official website, the Lightning have traded veteran defenseman Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators.

In return the Lightning will receive defenseman Philippe Myers and forward Grant Mismash from the Predators.

From the Lightning's perspective this move was one that appears to have been purely motivated by cap considerations. There have been rumblings for several days now that the Lightning were considering a trade involving McDonagh, who has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but there was also a belief that no one in the Lightning organization was happy about the necessity of such a move needing to be made.

McDonagh carried a salary cap hit of $6.75 million per season and had 4 years remaining on his current deal which signals a significant cap savings for the Lightning both now and in the long term as well.

In Philippe Myers the Lightning will acquire a defenseman who has a much more affordable cap hit for next season, coming it at just $2.55 million. Myers also has just a single year remaining on his deal, although the Lightning will retain control beyond that year as Myers will be a restricted free agent when his contract expires.

Grant Mismash also has just a single year remaining on his current deal at a cap hit of $875,000 for this upcoming season, and like Myers he will also be a restricted free agent at the end of his current deal which will give the Lightning some measure of control moving forward.

There is one more interesting wrinkle to this trade as highlighted by National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman. In the event that the Lightning were to use a buyout on Myers, they would receive a $617,000 credit against the cap for this season while taking on an additional cap hit of $633,000 for the following season. This could be an option for the Lightning if they feel they are really squeezed against the cap come the start of next season.

Update: As per Lightning insider Joe Smith, it appears that there are currently no plans to buyout Myers.