The Columbus Blue Jackets traded away long-time defenceman David Savard today to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a three-team deal. First, the Blue Jackets sent Savard to the Detroit Red Wings for Brian Lashoff with Columbus retaining 50 percent of Savard’s salary. Detroit then Savard to Tampa for Tampa’s 4th round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft with Detroit retaining 50 percent of Savard’s salary. Finally, Columbus sent Lashoff to Tampa Bay for the Lightning’s first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. In the end Detroit only retains about 25 percent of Savard’s salary.
Here’s the three-way trade between Tampa, Detroit and Columbus landing Savard in Tampa ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/ZCVCpaogkR
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 10, 2021
David Savard Traded by Columbus Blue Jackets
His Only NHL Team
Savard was drafted in the fourth round of 2009, 94th overall. After a false start in 2011-12, Savard established himself as an NHL player in 2013-14, getting top-pair duties the next year. In ten years, he’s played over 600 games with Columbus, scoring 41 goals, 125 assists for 166 points while anchoring the right side. He’s currently on his way to free agency, playing the last year of a five-year, $21 million contract.
It’s easy to see why the 6’3″ Savard was a trade target, despite his $4.25 million salary-cap hit. Originally miscast on the top pair during the regular season by virtue of few options, he’s a solid middle-pair player. This season he’s played primarily with Vladislav Gavrikov and Gabriel Carlsson in a defensive role. There are fewer scoring opportunities, but that highlights his ability as a hitter and shot-blocker. And for a team aiming at making noise, he can rattle the glass with the best of them.
Savard’s reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Columbus five times, playing 37 games with one goal and ten points. He’s averaged nearly 24 minutes in the most important games of the year, and that’s what the Lightning is looking for. And in moving him, the Blue Jackets are telling their fans they’ll have to wait another year for the playoffs.
What This Means For The Future
The Blue Jackets have a replacement waiting in the wings in Andrew Peeke, who should be ready come the start of 2021-22. Peeke is still working on his physical game, so he’s not a direct replacement in style. Still, if he gets the same chances Savard had, his scoring ceiling is higher.
For Savard, he gets one more chance in the second season – though is first with a new team. His next contract, if he gets one, is going to be heavily dependent on his performance here. It certainly won’t be close to his current deal, but a good showing can keep the veteran right-side defenceman in the league a while yet.
On the Lightning side of things, they just continue to go out and improve their team. Tampa Bay is looking to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. Adding Savard is a depth move and it solidifies the top-four of their defence. Not to mention it takes the pressure off Victor Hedman and Mikael Sergachev to be out there for the entire game especially in tight situations. In order for this deal to work, the Lightning had to put Jan Rutta on long-term injured reserve. This opens up the cap space to get Savard.
Embed from Getty Images