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2017 NHL trade rumors: Lightning reportedly ask Valtteri Filppula to waive no-trade clause

Tampa Bay is looking to make some cap room appear.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With the playoffs fading out of sight in a year the Lightning expected to compete for a Stanley Cup, general manager Steve Yzerman is retooling on the fly

Yesterday, Yzerman traded center Brian Boyle to Toronto. If reports from TSN insider Bob McKenzie are to be believed (it’s Bob, so they are), they’re getting ready to move veteran center Valtterri Filppula.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Filppula apparently rejected a trade to Toronto, where teammate Brian Boyle was traded to.

Filppula, 32, has another year remaining on his $5 million-per-year deal. Signed as a free agent from the Red Wings in 2013, Filppula put up 25 goals and 58 points in his first season in Tampa Bay.

He’s declined steadily since then, on pace for just 46 points this season. Trading his large cap hit is important for the Lightning, who have a lot of restricted free agents to re-sign this offseason. Keeping Filppula and impending RFA Tyler Johnson, for example, is a truly difficult task. They also need to re-sign Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat, Jake Dotchin, and Andrej Sustr.

If Peter Budaj leaves in free agency, they need room to find a backup goalie if they’re not high on Kristers Gudlevskis anymore.