Earlier yesterday evening, the first major three-team deal of the 2021 trade deadline season was agreed to, as the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired a 2021 1st round pick, as well as a 2022 3rd round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman David Savard. Along with Savard, Tampa Bay also acquired defenseman Brian Lashoff from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a 2021 4th round pick. In this deal, the Blue Jackets will retain 50% of Savard’s 2021 salary, and the Red Wings will retain an additional 25%, making his cap hit for the Lightning just over a million dollars. Savard is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season.
David Savard has a -0.35 career AB score, including an outstanding +13.58 score in 2016-17, which was the eight-highest in the National Hockey League that season. It was also the highest individual score recorded by a Blue Jackets player that season as well. Despite this, Savard only has two positive AB seasons in his entire career (2016-17 and 2018-19) and a 2:2 Positive: Negative record in the last four seasons. At the midseason point, Savard has scored one goal and registered five assists for six points in forty games with the Blue Jackets. In this span, he also has the lowest individual AB score on the team at a -9.20. If this score stands, it would be the worst individual AB season of his career. This could be a case similar to the Brandon Montour situation we discussed in our previous article, as we will continue to monitor his improvement or lack thereof leading up to the playoffs. He will add yet another physical presence to a Tampa Bay Lightning defense group with his 6ft 233lb frame. This season with Columbus, he threw ninety-five hits in forty games, good for second on the team behind only Nick Foligno. Brian Lashoff, who was also acquired by the Lightning in this deal, has a -6.69 career AB scores in three seasons of data, and has not currently played an NHL game in the 2020-21 season.
This trade leaves the Lightning with only their own 3rd, 5th, and 7th round picks in the 2021 entry draft. However they have two additional 7th rounders from the Connor Ingram and Louis Domingue trades. As we just mentioned, they dealt their 1st, and 4th in this deal, and they moved their 2nd rounder in a draft day trade in October with the Montreal Canadiens to select Jack Finley. We will discuss the overall outcome all of the Blue Jackets trades on their draft pick cupboard in our next article about the Nick Foligno trade, which will also be released tonight.
This isn’t the first trade we expect to include a third team with cap space to broker money to make the deal work (as we will discuss also in the Foligno article). We believe the Red Wings are smart to accumulate as many assets as possible to aid their rebuild. According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, the Red Wings spent just $241,379 in real cash in the Savard retention to essentially “buy” a fourth round pick. In comparison to last season’s Robin Lehner deal to the Maple Leafs, the Leafs paid $243,473 for a 5th round pick. Seravalli adds that due to the pandemic and the flat cap, the price has gone up a round for the same amount of money to facilitate these types of trades. It will certainly be interesting to see if other trades like this one occur leading up to deadline day, as we will discuss the Nick Foligno article next in the coming minutes. Much more to come.