The Tampa Bay Lightning knows it's going to have to be creative when it comes to moving out salaries by next season.
With forwards Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Jonathan Drouin, and defenseman Andrej Sustr in need of new contracts come July 1, the Bolts simply do not have the salary cap space to accommodate all four of them.
Tampa has roughly $60 million in salary committed for next season, and with the salary cap expected to remain flat at $73 million for the 2017-18 campaign, Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is looking for ways to fit as many guys as he can.
TFP reported on Monday that Yzerman is exploring the market on a number of his players, including center Valtteri Filppula.
Filppula, 32, has one-year left on his contract after this season and comes with a $5 million cap hit. He also owns a limited no-movement clause, where he can list at least 16 teams he would accept a trade to.
Yzerman has been shopping Filppula, though it's unclear what type of return he's looking for, or if he's trying to package Filppula in a larger deal for a top-pair defenseman.
In 52 games with the Bolts so far this season, Filppula has registered seven goals and 25 assists for 32 points.