So the Lightning were in fact seriously interested in Andrej Meszaros, and they got what they wanted, once again. The young blueliner was unable to come to terms on a contract with the Sens, after asking for roughly $1m/year higher than what Bryan Murray was willing to give. In exchange, the Sens will receive two blueliners, Filip Kuba and Alex Picard, as well as the first round pick acquired from San Jose in the Dan Boyle trade.
This is not a sign-and-trade deal, meaning that the Lightning will have to negotiate with Meszaros on a new contract, although that should not be a big stumbling block. Sources say that the Lightning will have a six-year, $24m offer on the table, an average of $4m against the cap per year. The Bolts, after shedding Kuba and Picard’s salaries, will be adding a paltry $0.2m to their salaries. The Sens take on $3.8m in the swap.
TSN’s poll shows that, at first glance, 63% of voters believed that the Sens walked away with the better deal, and I agree. Meszaros is a young defenseman with tons of upside, but so is Picard, and Kuba is no slouch either, averaging almost 25 minutes a game while posting 30+ points for the second straight year. Added to the Bolts’ package is a first round pick, which will undoubtedly be a late one, but in a deep draft year the Sens will happily take it. For roughly the same price, the Sens added some depth to their blueline without sacrificing their top two defensemen, any forwards, and/or youth. The Bolts, however, despite claims from Oren Koules that they’re looking to add more veterans and depth to their blueline, traded away one of their oldest players and a young prospect for a player who is coming off a difficult sophomore season, also shortening their depth chart by one player. Again, a bit of a perplexing move by the Bolts, who have still yet to address their problems at forward.