Lightning make big moves: trade Connolly, Gudas and acquire Coburn in different deals

It’s 2:00am on the East Coast on what’s now officially trade deadline day. Do you know where your favorite team’s players are?

Well, if you don’t, then you might want to look in the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, and/or Tampa Bay because all three teams were involved in late night trades. Tampa Bay was the catalyst for two separate, yet significant deals.

Let’s start with the first deal to go down: Tampa Bay trades forward Brett Connolly to Boston for a second round pick in both the 2015 and 2016 drafts.

Boston needs a jump start to their at times stagnant offense. They’re hoping Connolly can provide that; however, it’s not like Connolly was tearing up the Lightning this season. He’s got 12 goals and 3 assists in 50 games played. Now that’s at the NHL level. Prior to this year, Connolly spent two seasons with the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) where he racked up 120-points in 137 games played. The potential is there, but can Claude Julien bring it out of him?

The good thing for the Bruins is that he’s cheap. According to NHL Numbers, he’s a $851,000 cap hit. His contract is up at the end of the season; however, he’s scheduled to be a restricted free agent, allowing Boston more control over his future.

As for the return, the Bolts get two second rounders in 2015 and 2016. Tampa Bay has drafted increasingly better during Steve Yzerman’s tenure as GM. All else fails, he can flip the picks for something else in the future.

For the Milbury Scale, I give this … ONE MILBURY!

Minutes after the Connolly trade was announced, ish got real.

Rumors flew around about the Philadelphia Flyers desire to trade defenseman Braydon Coburn. Ron Hextall finally found a buyer in Tampa Bay, and the return was hefty. The Lightning sent Radko Gudas, a first round pick and a third round pick, both in 2015, to Philly.

Coburn, 30, has spent the better part of 9 seasons with Philadelphia. During that time he’s played 576 regular season games and earned 161 points; he averages 21:57 TOI. He leads the Flyers in penalty kill TOI at 3:01 per game. Coburn comes with a hefty $4.5-million cap hit that expires at the end of next season. Reports are that he had a modified no movement clause and agreed to waive it to come to Tampa Bay.

In order to get him, the Bolts parted ways with defenseman Radko Gudas, and 2015 draft picks in the first and third rounds. Back in early January, Gudas underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and at the time was projected to be out at least four months. That prognosis has not changed as of late and the Flyers probably won’t see the ornery d-man until next year. With that being the case, his $992,000 cap hit will go on the Long Term Injured Reserved list. In salary, Gudas is owed $1-million for this year and $1.4-million the next; after that, he’ll be a restricted free agent.

As for the draft picks, who the hell knows what Philly will do with them. Maybe they’ll keep them. Maybe they’ll trade them in a different deal. Maybe they’ll burn the picks on eventual draft busts.

I’m giving this a Milbury Scale of 3 Milburys.

Why? Because I think Philadelphia might have actually won this deal. I like Gudas, warts and all. He’s annoying and physical, everything that the Flyers love on their roster. Plus they’ve stocked up on good draft picks in a deep draft. Also, it’s late and I might not be thinking clearly…

(Major s/t to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet for cryptically tweeting that we should all stay up even though it was pretty late. These trades followed not too long after.)