The NHL off-season is usually filled with various business decisions that each organization’s general manager must navigate through. Some of the simple things get caught up in some of the off-season drama, as the NHL Draft approaches and contract renewals become a major focus.
The Tampa Bay Lightning managed to earn their way to the Eastern Conference finals, and even more impressive, they competed for an entire seven game series, only to find themselves down four goals late in the third period. Even though their entire season was impressive on an overall scale and perspective, it doesn’t change the fact that very important business decisions lie ahead for the organization’s general manager, Steve Yzerman, who is currently among candidates in being rewarded the best general manager of the year.
Some of the things that Yzerman will have to look at includes the renewal of various contracts, the draft of new players coming in from lower leagues and levels, as well as the management of the current team. There are some long-term plans that need to be arranged so that the organization can continue to compete at its current level and make significant playoff runs like this last season. The cap space has seemingly been an issue for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they struggle to keep their star players on their rosters with very expensive contracts.
Yzerman has managed to balance his costly star players with up-and-comers who have seemingly found themselves molded on the team roster. This balance has allowed the team to stay below the cap-requirement and still stay at a competitive level. The upcoming seasons should keep most of the current players on the Lightning roster, but some minor tweaks may be necessary to give an additional boost to the Lightning to try and force them into the final round so that they can compete for a stanley cup like they did in the 2015 season.