Should the St. Louis Blues attempt to sign a Tampa Bay Lightning UFA?

Is the dynasty of the last few years in Tampa Bay coming to an end? Probably not. Nevertheless, the Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves in a position where they will probably lose several key players in the 2024 free-agency market.
Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four
Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four / Rich Storry/GettyImages

We’ve all heard the stats; in the last five Stanley Cup finals, a Florida team has represented the eastern conference, with the Tampa Bay Lightning making three consecutive appearances, followed by the previous two years and the Florida Panthers.

As it stands, several Lightning players are set to enter the open market.

Tampa Bay Lightning Unrestricted Free Agents


Anthony Duclair–28 years old
Tyler Motte–29 years old
Steven Stamkos–34 years old
Austin Watson–32 years old


Calvin de Haan–33 years old
Matt Dumba–29 years old
Haydn Fleury–27 years old

First, the Blues probably have no chance of signing captain Steven Stamkos. Though several pundits expect him to depart Tampa Bay, it seems that given his age, hockey resume, and desire to enter a win-now situation, Stamkos will probably sign with a major contender.

The St. Louis Blues need help on defense

Although there are no standout star defensemen among the current UFAs in Tampa Bay, there may be a hidden gem at a bargain price.

Fleury is the player that had the most expectations surrounding his name. He is a former top-ten pick; he just hasn’t equalized his talent in the NHL. His salary had him earn $775,000 in 2023-24.

He played 24 games in NHL play, averaging 16:07 minutes on the ice, and recorded 5 points. Could he be further developed? Is he worth the risk?

Matt Dumba is a familiar name for Blues fans. The former Minnesota Wild veteran was a top-ten pick and had much more success than Fleury, notably in Minnesota.

In his 2017-18 performance, he recorded an impressive 50 points. His statistics have dropped since 2021-22, but his salary is relatively low at $2.55 million. His ice time is still high; he recorded 12 total points in 2023-24. The numbers are concerning, but again, could he be a valuable option with a limited amount of cap space?

De Haan, the oldest defenseman of the three, recorded 10 total points in 2023-24.

There are definitely no major UFAs from Tampa Bay, but given the Blues’ holes, signing one of them might be an option.

While offensive threats Steven Stamkos and Anthony Duclair are good players, Duclair’s 42 points and his young age probably make him out of reach for the Blues. Though, if GM Doug Armstrong can manage deals, leaving cap space still for a defenseman, Duclair could be an excellent complimentary scorer for a team needing help offensively.

The Lightning remain a strong team, and their departed players could be potential options for the St. Louis Blues.