The Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals were active Saturday during draft rounds 2-7, each making multiple moves to shake up their rosters for next season and beyond.

Tampa Bay sent two-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev to Utah and depth forward Tanner Jeannot to Los Angeles in moves that cleared more than $11 million in salary cap space. That could be enough money to keep captain and face of the franchise Steven Stamkos or make a significant free agent signing, and it will go a long way to providing room to lock up cornerstone defenseman Victor Hedman with a long-term contract extension.

The Lightning got younger on the blue line by receiving 24-year-old defenseman J.J. Moser, along with forward prospect Conor Geekie and two draft picks for Sergachev, who was signed through 2031 making $8.5 million annually. A 2025 second-rounder and a fourth this year allows Tampa Bay to restock its prospect pool after making eight consecutive playoff appearances, winning two titles and reaching the final three times.

That contending window remains wide open, and general manage Julien BriseBois now has flexibility to retool on the fly with free agency opening Monday. Stamkos staying is a possibility, and now the Lightning have the opportunity to pursue one or more of the top wingers available, a group that includes Jake Guentzel, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Marchessault.

The Capitals already did their big-name hunting last week by acquiring highly paid center Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Kings for goaltender Darcy Kuemper. On Saturday, they filled that void in net by acquiring Logan Thompson from host Vegas for a pair of third-round picks.

Thompson figures to split time with Charlie Lindgren in a tandem costing less than $2 million total next season, with a year left on each goalie’s contract. Thompson, 27, was an All-Star and played 37 games for the Golden Knights during their 2022-23 Cup run before getting injured before the playoffs.

Long before getting his name engraved on the trophy, Thompson got his first foray into the NHL Capitals development camp in the summer of 2018 in the aftermath of their championship celebration. He played for Washington at back-to-back prospect showcases, went to training camp with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears in 2019, starred for the ECHL’s South Carolina and earned his first contract as a result.

“I’m thankful for the Washington goalie department every day,” Thompson told The Associated Press at 2023 All-Star Weekend. “They’re the reason why I’m here. They’re the only team that gave me a chance three years ago. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Washington also traded fourth-line winger Beck Malenstyn to Buffalo for the 43rd pick, taking U.S.-born defenseman Cole Hutson, and traded up in the third round to select Ilya Protas, the younger brother of Capitals forward Aliaksei Protas. Malenstyn, 26, is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who had 21 points in 81 games during his first full NHL season and gives the Sabres Buffalo valuable forward depth as they try to end the league’s longest playoff drought.

Among the other moves, St. Louis traded Kevin Hayes and a ’25 second-rounder to Pittsburgh for future considerations to shed the remainder of the his contract, and Boston sent Jakob Lauko to Minnesota for Vinni Lettieri in a swap of centers that also involved draft picks.



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