The offseason is well underway and it shows when trades take place less than a week following the hoisting of the Stanley Cup final. The Tampa Bay Lightning had to watch the Washington Capitals be crowned champions after losing to them in seven games in the Eastern Conference and now the Bolts are ready for some changes.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Lightning and the Los Angeles Kings made a trade. The have acquired goaltender Peter Budaj from Tampa Bay in exchange for forward Andy Andreoff.
Budaj appeared in 54 games with the Kings over two seasons from 2015 to 2017 and his now back with his former club.
Down the stretch in the regular calendar and during the postseason, Budaj was replaced by younger goalie Louis Domingue in Tampa Bay. There seems to be no need for the veteran goaltender, as the Kings spent most of the second half of the campaign looking for a better backup in between the pipes.
However, the Kings have six goalies under contract, so the audition process should be taken care of sooner rather than later.
Budaj played in eight games last season with the Lightning, posting a 3-3-1 record, .876 save percentage and a 3.77 goals-against average. The 35-year-old was with the Kings organization for two seasons from 2015-2017, appearing in 54 games over that period.
Drafted in the second-round, 63rd overall, by the Colorado Avalanche during the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Budaj has appeared in 365 games over 12 seasons in the NHL with the Kings, Tampa Bay, Montreal Canadiens and Colorado, posting a 158-131-40 record, .904 save percentage, 2.69 goals-against average and 18 shutouts.
The Bolts also have to deal with the fact that veteran forward Ryan Callahan needs to undergo shoulder surgery and is expected to miss the first month of the upcoming season. Andreoff could be the needed replacement on the third line for some grit and energy.
In 159 NHL games in the past four years, Andreoff has tallied 13 goals and delivered 252 hits. He was selected in the third round, 80th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Kings. The tough forward set career highs for assists (six), shots on goal (47) and game-winning goals (two) last season.