Theoretically, the defense just got harder to play against. That’s a good thing.
On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning added to their roster as they traded for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman, David Savard. A big (6’2”, 233 lbs.) defensive blueliner, Savard will help fill the gap caused by injuries on the right-side of the defense. In return, Columbus receives Tampa Bay’s 2021 first-round pick and their 2022 third-round pick. A third team, the Detroit Red Wings, was involved as well. The Lightning acquired Brian Lashoff and sent a 2021 fourth-round pick to Detroit.
That was the result of basically three separate deals done at the same time for salary cap reasons. Pierre LeBrun breaks it down:
Here’s the three-way trade between Tampa, Detroit and Columbus landing Savard in Tampa ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ZCVCpaogkR
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 10, 2021
Tampa Bay managed to add to their defense without trading a prospect or rostered player while remaining under the salary cap for the rest of the regular season. That’s quite impressive.
Drafted in the 4th Round of the 2009 draft, Savard logged 597 NHL games (all with Columbus) and recorded 166 points (41 goals, 125 assists). He is not being brought in for his offense. Although he did do this against possible new partner Victor Hedman:
— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) April 11, 2019
Savard is being brought in to lock down the front of the net, kill some penalties, and block some shots.
Go ahead and ignore the chart on the right, he’s not going to be spending any time on the power play in Tampa. On the left, as you can see quite plainly, he does not help a team on offense. He does, however, help prevent expected goals, which means he patrols the dangerous areas of the ice rather well. Despite being held out of the last few games for Columbus he still ranks third in the league in blocked shots with 89. Ryan McDonagh is the Lightning’s current leader with 68.
It’s a move, all be it at a higher cost, similar to the Lightning bringing in Zach Bogosian last year. It improves the depth of the defense, one of the weaker areas for the Lightning. He’ll also see some time on the penalty kill (he averaged 1:48 shorthanded for the Blue Jackets) which can use some bolstering.
Expect him to slot in on the second pairing for 5v5 play behind Erik Cernak with Luke Schenn and Cal Foote battling it out for the third set of defense. Although, Coach Cooper is fond of mixing things up so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him on the top line with Hedman.
Lashoff is a 30-year-old left-handed defenseman who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. It appears he will stay with Grand Rapids to finish this season and likely will not see any time in the Lightning organization.
The Official Press Release:
LIGHTNING ACQUIRE DEFENSEMAN DAVID SAVARD IN MULTI-TEAM TRADE
Bolts Trade 1st, 3rd & 4th Round Picks to Columbus & Detroit
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman David Savard in a multi-team trade in which the Lightning give up their 2021 first-round and 2022 third-round picks to the Columbus Blue Jackets and it’s 2021 fourth-round selection to the Detroit Red Wings, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. Additionally, the Lightning acquired Brian Lashoff from Detroit in the trade. Lashoff will remain with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.
Savard, 30, has skated in 40 games with the Blue Jackets this season, posting a goal and six points to go along with 24 penalty minutes. The St. Hyacinthe, Quebec native’s one goal on the season was a game-winner against the Lightning on March 30 at AMALIE Arena. He registered his 11th career multi-assist game on February 7 versus Carolina.
The 6-foot-2, 233-pound defenseman has appeared in 597 career NHL games, all with Columbus over 10 seasons, posting 41 goals and 166 points to go along with a +24 rating and 331 penalty minutes. Savard set career highs for goals (11), assists (25) and points (36) during the 2014-15 season. He set a career high and ranked second in the NHL last season with 163 blocked shots.
Savard was originally drafted by Columbus in the fourth round, 94th overall, at the 2009 NHL Draft.