Rumour Report: Significant shakeup coming for Lightning this offseason

The Lightning insist they aren't going to overreact, but change seems inevitable after a disastrous first round playoff exit.

In one of the bigger upsets of recent memory, the Lightning were jettisoned from the Stanley Cup playoffs in four games by a talented but inconsistent Blue Jackets team. The team had not lost four straight all regular season, and seemed to be stunned by a team that had scratched and clawed just to make it into the playoffs.

Though management maintains that they aren't going to overreact to a week of bad hockey, rumblings suggest a few critical moves could be in the offing.

Signing RFA centerman Brayden Point is priority number one. And if he makes as much as reports suggest he will make, someone is going to have to go out the door.

The usual suspects of Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson have been bandied about. One or more of those players could be moved quite easily.

But another name seems to be gaining a bit of steam: JT Miller. Perhaps underutilized in a deep Tampa forward core, Miller hasn't been an ideal fit since he was brought over from the Rangers by then-GM Steve Yzerman. With Julien Brisebois now in change, some believe Miller is a prime candidate to move. There will be no shortage of teams interested, but a reunion with Yzerman in Detroit is certainly a possibility.

There's also a bit of buzz around Ryan Callahan, who has slowly morphed into a role player on a crowded depth chart. A return to the Rangers in a 'cap dump' type transaction is a very real possibility.

At the same time, the Lightning are rumoured to be on the hunt for defensive upgrades. With Anton Stralman likely on the way out, GM Brisebois may have some shopping to do. Trade deadline rumblings suggested the Bolts were after Cody Ceci and Alec Martinez. Those talks are very likely to pick up again in the offseason.

With the Lightning core in the middle of their prime and a number of expiring contracts on the docket, standing pat is not an option for the Lightning this summer.

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