5 Former Tampa Bay Lightning Lived Elsewhere
NS Tampa Bay Lightning made many good deals under former GM Steve Yzerman and current GM Julien BriseBois. A notable example would be Jonathan Drouin for Commercial Mikhail Sergachev, where Lightning is the clear winner so far.
However, like every other organization, Lightning has also made bad decisions, which they will eventually regret. Here are five players who have thrived elsewhere after leaving Lightning, either through trade or letting them go free.
1. JT Miller
JT Miller formerly the New York Rangers’ 15th overall pick. He was taken to Lightning in a deals include Ryan McDonagh. In return, Rangers receive Vladislav Namestikov, Libor Hajek, the first pick in 2018 and the second round pick with conditions. (A conditional second-round pick becomes a first-round pick if Lightning wins the Stanley Cup in 2018 or 2019).
After being traded mid-season on February 26, 2018, he played 19 games for the Tampa Bay franchise during that season. After scoring 13 goals in 63 games as the New York Ranger, Miller arrived in Tampa Bay and scored 10 goals in 19 games, nearly averaging one point per game with 18 points in 19 games.
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Miller then played a full season as a member of the Lightning, scoring 13 goals and 34 assists for a total of 47 points in 75 games. He also has the highest record of his career when he won a substitute (WAR) with 2.4. The Bolts eventually took him to the Vancouver Canucks in a trade that featured goalkeeper Marek Mazanec, a 2019 third-round pick and a conditional 2020 first-round pick.
Miller had a spectacular first season as a Canuck. He immediately teamed up with young superstar Elias Pettersson and broke through in points-wise, scoring 27 goals and 45 assists, a career-high total of 72 points in 69 games. He also has a WAR of 1.9, similar to the numbers he got with Lightning.
Although Miller has had a rough start to this season due to COVID protocol, he is playing well, having 9 goals and 20 assists in 34 games played. Recently, Vancouver as a group has been impacted by COVID protocols.
2. Carter Verhaeghe
The former Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick was originally traded to New York Islanders. The people on the island then traded Carter Verhaeghe to Lightning in exchange for goalkeeper Kristers Gudļevskis.
In 2017-18, Verhaeghe burst onto the scene in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch, scoring 17 goals and 31 assists in 58 games. The following season, he scored 34 goals and 48 assists, scoring 82 points in 76 games played. He was also the first Crunch player to win the AHL scoring title.
For the 2019-20 season, Verhaeghe made the Lightning’s night opener list. In his first NHL season, Verhaeghe had 9 goals and 4 assists in 52 games. He also has a WAR of 0.4, but keep in mind that he plays an average of almost 10 minutes per night.
Verhaeghe eventually won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning, but he failed to qualify for the season, which led him directly to free agency. NS Florida Panthers signed Verhaeghe with a two-year, $2 million contract.
Verhaeghe has been fantastic for the Panthers this season, as you can tell he is reaching his full potential. He has 17 goals and 16 assists, scoring a total of 33 points in 39 games played. His analyzes are also excellent, as he has a WAR of 1 and targets on substitution (GAR) of 5.7. Verhaeghe is only 25 years old, and he will only get better at this point.
3. Nikita Gusev
The Lightning drafted Nikita Gusev in the seventh round of the 2012 Draft. In 2017, they traded his rights to the Vegas Golden Knights, who then traded him for the New Jersey Devils. The Reds will sign him to a two-year, $9 million deal.
Before Gusev came to North America, he had an incredible career in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He’s top 20 all-time in KHL points, with 332 points from 391 games played. In his final season in the KHL, he scored 17 goals, 65 assists for 82 points in 62 games. He has more assists than he has played that season, which is truly unbelievable.
In his first season in the NHL, Gusev scored 13 goals and provided 31 assists for 44 points in 66 games played. He has a WAR of 1 and a GAR of 5.4.
4. Jonathan Marchessault
In the 2011 draft, Jonathan Marchessault Nothing changes. He joined the New York Rangers AHL team, then he went to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who later gave him to Lightning.
Upon arriving in Tampa, Marchessault split his time between the Syracuse Crunch and the Bolts. His best season as Crunch was in 2014-15, when he scored 24 goals, 43 assists for a total of 67 points in 68 games played. The following year, he played his first season in the NHL. Marchessault has 7 goals and 11 assists in 45 games played. His analytics aren’t too bad either, as he has a WAR of 0.8 and a GAR of 4.1.
Marchessault decided to leave Lightning as a freelance agent and signed a two-way contract with the Florida Panthers. He had his breakout season in Florida, scoring 30 goals and 21 assists in 75 NHL games. Not to mention he has a WAR of 1.4 and a GAR of 7.5.
In the 2017 Open Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights picked Marchessault when he was exposed by the Panthers. His first season in Vegas was also the best season of his career. Marchessault had 27 goals, 48 assists, scoring a total of 75 points in 78 games played. He’s also ranked first in the top 30 in the league for WAR with 3.1 and top 25 in the GAR with 16.1.
During Vegas’ inaugural season, the Golden Knights made it to the Stanley Cup finals. Marchessault was also part of that success, as he generated more than one point per game in the knockout stages. He has 8 goals and 13 assists, scoring 21 points in 20 games played.
Marchessault has been fantastic for the Golden Knights over the past four seasons. In this season, he has scored 10 goals and 17 assists with a total of 27 points after 37 games played.
5. Tony DeAngelo
DeAngelo was selected 19th overall in the first round in 2014 by Lightning. Although there have been a lot of problems surrounding him, it is certain that he is a talented person.
DeAngelo played one season with the Syracuse Crunch before being transferred to the Arizona Coyotes. He has six goals and 37 assists in the 69 games played with Crunch. After playing with Arizona for one season, he was traded along with a first-round pick for the New York Rangers.
In his third season as Ranger, he had a breakout season. DeAngelo has scored 15 goals and 38 assists, 53 points in 68 games played. He is top 35 in the WAR for defenders with 1.6 and top 30 in the GAR with 9.1.
After a few crashes, DeAngelo played his last game as a Ranger. His future remains uncertain, as Rangers are looking for ways to move him out.
The Lightning will certainly regret skipping these five players, as they have all flourished with their teams.
(All Data Through Evolution-Hockey, HockeyDB)
I am a huge fan of Maple Leafs and Raptors living in Mississauga. I included Tampa Bay Lightning for The Hockey Writers and the NBA for Sideline Sources.
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