The Tampa Bay Lightning lineup will look different. They made new additions to their bottom-six forward group this off-season. General Manager Julien BriseBois signed a new fourth line heading into the 2024 season. The acquisitions include Logan Brown, Luke Glendening, and Josh Archibald. Let’s see what each player brings to the table this upcoming season.
Tampa Bay Lightning Rebrand Fourth Line
Head Coach Jon Cooper knows which players work best in his system and how to deploy them to maximize their potential. Cooper has a trend of creating successful fourth lines. In the past two seasons, the Lightning rolled Pat Maroon, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Corey Perry on line four.
This trio found success during the 2022 regular season, recording a combined 87 points. In addition, the line outscored opponents 25-9 and controlled 73.5% of the goal share. They also dominated 55.55% of the expected goals share at 5v5. However, all three players moved elsewhere for the 2024 season. With this in mind, three new players have arrived in town to fill the vacant forward spots.
Old Faces in New Places
The Lightning had limited salary cap space to work with this off-season. Despite this, BriseBois found his depth players at a discount. To start, veteran Luke Glendening signed a two-year, $1.6 million contract with an annual average of $800,000 per season. Moreover, Logan Brown signed a one-year, $775,000 contract with the organization. Lastly, Josh Archibald signed a two-year, $1.6 million contract with a modified no-movement clause. Let’s take a deeper look at each player heading into next season.
Glendening will become Tampa Bay’s next fourth-line centre. The Grand Rapids, Michigan native played his entire career for the Detroit Red Wings. After eight seasons in Detroit, Glendening spent the previous two seasons with the Dallas Stars. In 706 career games, Glendening scored 69 goals and 79 assists for 148 points.
Glendening made a name for himself through his ability to win faceoffs. He’s one of the best faceoff men in the history of the NHL. Last season, Glendening won 59% of his faceoffs and ranked ninth-best in the entire league. In addition, he ranks 23rd in all-time faceoff win percentage at a 55.67% success rate. Glendening received Selke recognition in three seasons throughout his career. His most recent was where he finished 25th in voting for the award in 2021. Furthermore, he provides penalty killing for the roster with the departure of Bellemare.
Left Wing: Brown
Coming in at left wing is the 6’6″ and 220-pound Brown. Brown was the former 11th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators. Despite only appearing in 99 career games, Brown proved he’s ready for the next level through his American Hockey League dominance. In 115 AHL games, Brown recorded 69 assists and 85 points. In 99 NHL games, Brown scored seven goals and 26 points. Brown is coming off a disappointing year with the rest of the St. Louis Blues roster. However, he showed potential in a small sample size during the 2022 season.
During the 2022 season, Brown recorded 11 points in 39 games, putting him on pace for 23 points in an 82-game season. Corey Sjanzder’s micro stats tracking project (All Three Zones) offers additional information on his play that year. Brown ranked in the 100th percentile of cycle and forechecking offence amongst forwards. In addition, he placed in the 60th percentile of high-danger passes. Brown is an underappreciated setup man to replace Maroon.
👀 that's some pass by Logan Brown pic.twitter.com/wRWlxTSJHA
— Sens Prospects (@SensProspects) October 28, 2019
— Brandon Maki (@BrandonMaki_) May 13, 2021
Right Wing: Josh Archibald
The Lightning added speedy forechecker Archibald to the fourth line for next season. Archibald found a full-time bottom-six role with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He scored six goals and 12 points in 62 games. Furthermore, he finished in the 97th percentile of forechecking pressures per hour. More importantly, Archibald is known for his stellar defensive play, heavily praised by Micah Blake McCurdy.
Working on a revamp of the player isolates to integrate the new all-in-one thing I've been working on all summer. Did you know: Josh Archibald is really good defensively?
(Worth about 4.7 goals per 1000 5v5 minutes, is how good it is.) pic.twitter.com/kxfvLnlBHI
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 26, 2023
Archibald finished last season 14% better than the league average in terms of shot rates and expected goals against (HockeyViz). Additionally, Archibald finished 5.6 synthetic goals above replacement. McCurdy describes synthetic goals as, “the guiding principle behind all of my player evaluation models is that they should estimate a player’s intrinsic ability, that is, isolated from any effects outside of their control.” Archibald is the most valuable player on this line heading into the pre-season.
Tampa Bay is in for a bounce-back season after being eliminated in the first round by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Tampa Bay Lightning lineup that is newly constructed should produce very well under Coach Cooper. All three players have a golden attribute, specifically Glendening’s faceoffs, Brown’s passing, and Archibald’s defence. This line will find chemistry and be productive off the jump.
Main Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports