COLUMBUS, Ohio — The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning acquired defenceman David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three-team trade Saturday that also involves the Detroit Red Wings.
Tampa Bay gave up a 2021 first-round pick and a 2022 third-rounder to Columbus for Savard and sent a 2021 fourth-rounder to Detroit. The Blue Jackets retained half of Savard’s $4.25 million salary-cap hit and the Red Wings got involved to pick up a quarter of it to help the cap-strapped Lightning.
Savard, a 30-year-old pending free agent, was one of the most sought-after players ahead of the NHL trade deadline Monday.
"David Savard is a consummate professional ,and his contributions to our organization over the past 10 years have been significant," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. "He has been an incredibly selfless player on the ice, a great teammate in the dressing room and a great representative of the Blue Jackets off the ice. "
Savard gives the Lightning a dependable, right-shooting defender who is averaging just under 20 minutes a game this season. Tampa Bay general manager Julien BriseBois had said recently it was very unlikely he’d be able to add before the trade deadline given his team’s salary cap situation.
It cost the Lightning an extra asset to make that work. They also acquired minor league defenceman Brian Lashoff, who will continue to play for Detroit’s farm team in Grand Rapids after the trade.
Savard was tied with forward Cam Atkinson for the longest-tenured player in the Blue Jackets organization and was being held out of game action in anticipation of a trade. He has 166 points in 597 NHL regular-season games, all with Columbus.