Lightning and Predators make trade before postseason ends

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators have made a trade before the off-season begins.
Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five
Nashville Predators v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators have made a trade. It is odd to see a trade like this happen before the season is over but we aren't even at the Stanley Cup Final yet.

The Conference Finals are set to begin on Wednesday and Thursday but we already have an off-season move.

Sometimes, NHL teams let a guy go and then realize that they need to bring him back to get to where they once were.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators have made a trade

Ryan McDonagh is headed back to the Tampa Bay Lightning where he won the Stanley Cup twice in back-to-back seasons. It was an amazing run for him there and he is back after just two years with the Nashville Predators.

There is also a 2024 fourth-round pick that originally belonged to the Edmonton Oilers going to Tampa Bay with McDonagh. Going to Nashville is a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 seventh-round pick.

There was no salary retained by the Predators in this move so they are looking to shed some cap space with this type of move.

It also is being reported that McDonagh had to waive his no-move clause to go back to the Lightning. At 35 years old, he probably feels like a smart move for him to go back to where he won before. Tampa isn't as good as they once were but they are probably still ahead of Nashville.

You don't expect a lot of big moves like this during the playoffs but both teams are eager to get better. They were both playoff teams in 2023-24 but both were bounced in the first round. Nashville lost to the Vancouver Canucks in six games while Tampa Bay lost to the Florida Panthers in five.

The Lightning needed another defenseman ahead of the 2024-24 season and they will be getting one that they are familiar with in Ryan McDonagh. He also only has two years left on his deal so they won't be locking themselves into a bad contract.

Although nobody saw this coming on a random Tuesday in the middle of the playoffs, it is a move that makes total sense for both sides. Nashville is relieving their cap a little bit while adding assets while Tampa has another good defenseman for two more years.