Tampa Bay’s Cagey Bet on James Wisniewski Could Pay Off Big

August 17th, 2016 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

Imagine, for a moment, that your NHL team could add an impact player for almost nothing. No trade cost at all is involved in bringing this player in, and his contract is entirely reasonable.  

We’re talking here about a defenceman who can effectively log more than 20 minutes per game, one who can run the power play and kill penalties too. Just for good measure, he’s also a right shot—something that makes him both rarer and more valuable to NHL teams.

The situation we’ve just described is the best-case scenario for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts recently added James Wisniewski to their training-camp roster at the low, low price of a professional tryout offer. Given his willingness to accept a tryout, it’s also virtually certain that if he’s eventually offered a contract it will be a bargain-bin deal.

While the outcome depicted above is certainly an optimistic view—there’s also a chance that Wisniewski comes to camp, performs poorly and is never seen in the NHL again—it’s hard not to love this gamble by the Lightning.

The biggest re ...

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