The Tampa Lightning have brought back forward Adam Hall in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron early Tuesday. The Hurricanes claimed Hall off waivers from the Lightning on March 16 and have now sent him back, along with a seventh-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Hall has appeared is 26 games this season, 20 of which came with the Lightning before being claimed by the Hurricanes. All of Hall’s four points this season have come with the Lightning as he now returns to a team that has dropped to the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The Lightning are led by Steven Stamkos, who leads the NHL with 25 goals and is one of the best young talents in the league. Though his play has been lights out, the Lightning have failed to make a run in the Southeast Division.
The Hurricanes have struggled of late due to the loss of Cam Ward, who hasn’t played in a game since March 3. Ward is expected to miss another two weeks and the Hurricanes have already lost the Southeast Division lead to the Winnipeg Jets and are three points out of a playoff spot in the conference.
Bergeron will be a great addition to the Hurricanes defense, though he has only appeared in 12 games this season. The 32-year-old is a 10-year veteran of the NHL and led all Lightning defensemen in 2012 with 24 points in 43 games last year.
Outside of giving up a late round draft pick, the Hurricanes received Bergeron for practically nothing. The Lightning waived Hall in March and the Hurricanes picked up his one-year contract at the cost of about a quarter of his $650,000 salary.
Now Hall returns to Tampa Bay and Bergeron joins the Hurricanes in the middle of a playoff race with the New York Rangers and New York Islanders. Bergeron is currently in the final year of a two-year, $2 million contract.
The acquisition of Bergeron should help improve the Hurricanes powerplay which is currently last in the NHL at 12.7 percent. Bergeron scored nine powerplay goals for the Lightning last season.
Tampa Bay is well out of playoff contention and has now traded away one of their top defenders. It’s possible that they’ve joined the Calgary Flames in settling for a better position in the NHL Draft. Is this the right strategy for the Lightning, as they already have one of the best young talents in the NHL in Steven Stamkos?
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