Connect with us

NHL Trade Talk

Lightning Forward Emerges as Logical Flyers Trade Target

Published

on

Philadelphia Flyers news
Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot scored 24 goals as an NHL rookie in 2021-22. (Photo: AP)

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot has been floated as a potential trade chip for some time now, and most recently so by Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on their “32 Thoughts” podcast. The 27-year-old scored 24 goals as an NHL rookie in 2021-22 but has only managed to pot 13 goals in the 131 regular season games he’s appeared in since. But, as a big, nasty, rugged winger, it’s easy to envision a world where he fits in with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Simply put, the Lightning need cap space in order to re-sign superstar and team captain Steven Stamkos. And that’s without using whatever they have left after that to address the other needs on their roster.

Recent Flyers trade history suggests team management is, or should at least be, willing to continue to take fliers on talented players at a discounted price. It worked with Ryan Poehling, and perhaps a more comparable situation might be Sean Walker, a defenseman the Flyers effectively acquired for free as a salary cap dump in last summer’s Ivan Provorov trade.

Walker, 29, was in the last year of a four-year, $10.6 million contract he signed with the Los Angeles Kings, giving him a $2.65 million cap hit for the 2023-24 season. Jeannot is in the last year of a two-year, $5.33 million contract he signed with the Lightning on July 15; he has a cap hit of $2.665 million. See the similarities in salary and context?

Further adding fuel to the fire is that Jeannot has a modified no-trade clause in his contract that will come into effect on July 1, which means he will be submitting a 16-team no-trade list to the Lightning. Recall that this exact scenario nearly caused Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim to be shipped off to the St. Louis Blues at the end of last June.

Essentially, if the Lightning wish to move on from Jeannot to create cap space, more than half of their potential suitors will be removed from the cupboard on the dawn of July. That’s especially bad news because they’re already selling low on the burly forward; Jeannot scored only seven goals and 14 points in 55 games this season and is yet to score a playoff goal for Tampa Bay.

Something Friedman did note on his podcast, however, is that teams around the NHL feel that Jeannot is still the player he was when he broke out with the Nashville Predators two seasons ago. If Danny Briere and Co. are among the believers, a Flyers trade would make perfect sense.

Because the Lightning need to create as much cap space as possible, they might be willing to trade Jeannot for some combination of draft picks. The Flyers’ first- and second-round picks would undoubtedly be off the table in such an instance.

Jeannot’s untapped potential as an NHL power forward should also be appealing to a Flyers team that lacks a player (and prospect) with that kind of profile. Players like Joel Farabee, Cam Atkinson, and Bobby Brink struggled in middle-six roles throughout the season and were benched or scratched, at times, for their inconsistencies on and off the puck.

That’s not Jeannot. He’s made no fewer than 211 hits in each of his three full NHL seasons, has experience playing both special teams, and blocks shots.

And not only would Jeannot provide the Flyers with a new element in their middle-six, but he also helps them get younger further down the lineup. The Flyers already have grinders like Garnet Hathaway and Nicolas Deslauriers, but Hathaway turns 33 in November and will be in the last year of his current contract. Deslauriers has two years left on his contract, but he doesn’t contribute on special teams anymore and will turn 34 in February.

In short, the Flyers need younger, more effective role players they can bring into the presumed Stanley Cup-contending future. Hathaway and Deslauriers can’t go back in time, and neither player has a 20-goal season under their belt at the NHL level, anyway.

If there is fire to the Jeannot smoke, look for things to pick up closer to the 2024 NHL Draft.

Get PHHN+ today!

Get PhHN in Your Inbox

Enter your email address to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.

Flyers Cap Info

Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now and Philadelphia Hockey Now. In no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers or the National Hockey League.