Why it was an ‘easy decision’ for Lightning GM BriseBois to trade for Jeannot

Lightning GM Julien Brisebois discusses the addition of Tanner Jeannot from the Predators, why he hasn't talked extension just yet, where their cap currently sits, and why he feels they now have all the ingredients to go on another deep playoff run.

While the Tampa Bay Lightning did give up a lot of future assets to acquire Tanner Jeannot in a trade with the Nashville Predators on Sunday night, GM Julien BriseBois says it wasn’t too difficult to pull the trigger.

The reason? The Lightning are built to contend for another Stanley Cup right now.

“Based on the odds of those picks turning into good NHL players down the road, I’d rather have the good player right now for this season and next and help this group win right now,” BriseBois said at a press conference on Monday. “I know what the odds are of those picks turning into players. I also know the odds of those picks turning into players that can help us win while we have this group of players right now in their prime ready to go for another long run — the odds of that are zero.

“None of the players we were going to have to draft with those picks were going to help us win this year or next, or probably the year after that. So when you put it into that context and you frame it that way, it ends up being a pretty easy decision actually.”

The Lightning sent the Predators defenceman Cal Foote, a first-round pick in 2025 (Top 10 protected), a second-round selection in 2024, and third, fourth and fifth-round picks in 2023 for Jeannot.

Jeannot, a pending restricted free agent, has suffered a dip in production this year after recording 24 goals, 130 penalty minutes and finishing seventh in Calder Trophy voting during his rookie campaign one season ago.

The 25-year-old Estevan, Sask., native has five goals and nine assists in 56 appearances this season. The statistical decline doesn’t concern BriseBois, though.

“What I thought we needed to address is to be a harder team to play against, to be a team that can win the hard-fought, tight-checking games come playoff time. Tanner Jeannot is that guy,” BriseBois said. “That’s how he plays. he plays in a way that helps you win those games.”

The Lightning lost in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Colorado Avalanche last year after winning the previous two Cups.

The Lightning (37-18-4) appear poised to face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs — a potential series featuring two serious Cup contenders.

“My responsibility as the custodian for this group is to sometime take risks to maximize our potential return on this era,” BriseBois said. “That’s what I did last night. We’re taking a risk — a calculated risk.”

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