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The former Lightning defenseman leaves the NHL for Geneva of the Swiss league.
The third signing of the day for GM Steve Yzerman sees all of his RFAs that are remaining in North America with new contracts.
GM Steve Yzerman acquires the veteran winger he didn't think he'd be able to get for the Lightning as well as bringing back a fan favorite to the Syracuse Crunch.
The veteran goalie signed knowing he was filling a roster spot until a Tampa Bay goalie prospect was ready for promotion to the NHL.
Former first rounder Brett Connolly has been inked to a one-year, two-way contract, the Lightning announced this afternoon. Connolly, 22, has spent the past two seasons in Syracuse with the Lightning's AHL affiliate. He did well there, too, putting up 52 goals and 120 points in 137 AHL games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Brett Connolly to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Connolly, 22, skated in 11 games with the Lightning last season, posting a goal and four penalty minutes. His lone goal during the 2013-14 season came on November 2 against the St. Louis Blues. Connolly also skated in 66 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, recording 21 goals and 57 points to go along with 50 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound forward ranked first on the Crunch for both points and assists (36).
The Campbell River, B.C. native has skated in 84 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over three seasons, notching six goals and 17 points go along with 34 penalty minutes. Three of his six career goals have been game-winners. Connolly has also skated in 137 career AHL games, collecting 52 goals and 120 points.
It is unclear what this contract means for Connolly. Many observers had slotted him in for a roster spot in the NHL. A two-way contract, however, indicates that the team might be hedging their bets on this one. Connolly is not waiver exempt, however, and is unlikely to clear waivers if he should be sent down. Which makes things a bit murkier than expected.
Requires waivers. RT @dball4u29 Brett Connolly— CapGeek (@capgeek) July 9, 2014
No information yet on salary numbers.
The forward skated in 68 games with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League last season, recording 27 goals and 56 points.
It's assumed that the netminder, who went 4-4-3 in 11 AHL games during the 2013-2014 season, is slated for the 5th organizational goalie spot.
The undrafted NCAA free agent forward appeared in one game with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season.
The defenseman has spent the majority of his career in the AHL, playing 235 games.
Though the echoes are diminishing with the passage of time, they still can be heard today on the roster and in the transaction column for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Raw Charge Lined-Up update has been brought up to date this morning, adding the Sustr signing form yesterday to other moves by the club so far this offseason. While the page remains non-all-inclusive to transactions (meaning AHL signings and prospects aren't a part of this) it does give a general glimpse of where the club is at with the NHL team.
The three forwards that remain unsigned restricted free agents are Brett Connolly, Cody Kunyk and Richard Panik. Phillipe Paadis, who is in the AHL and hasn't played in Tampa beore, is the other notable RFA in the organization.
There is still a long period of time left before training camp opens, and we may very well see more roster moves take place before then. At the same time, things are mostly locked-down in Tampa. Roster battles will happen in camp (they always do) but it appears things are lately set.
The 23-year old defenseman, who spent a little bit of time in Syracuse last season, will be brought back for at least one more year.
Just what did the Tampa Bay Lightning get by signing Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle? Mike Murphy from Blueshirt Banter gives you an idea.
Once again, left wing Cory Conacher will have an opportunity to prove himself in both a promising and challenging situation as he signs a 1 year deal with the New York Islanders. This will be Cory's third team since March, having been waived by the Ottawa Senators, picked up by the Buffalo Sabres, and then not given a qualifying offer from Buffalo yesterday.
While the Islanders have some very noteworthy talent to work with - hello, John Tavares - it is also one of the more oddly managed organizations in the NHL, where the club seems more in-tune with grabbing headlines than making sound decisions.
Here's hoping for Cory's sake (as well as long-suffering Isles fans) that he finds success and stability in Uniondale (and then Brooklyn if the club is wise enough to re-sign him), and the New York area learns of the three certainties in life: Death, taxes and Conacher.
Steve Yzerman had a bit of a dilemma on his hands. He had a solid Number 1 NHL guy in Ben Bishop and two up and coming young guys in Kristers Gudlevskis and Andrei Vasilevski, but no number 2 goalie to sit backup to Bishop. How do you keep the two developing goalies playing in the near term without blocking their access to the NHL in the future?
Well, you do that by signing Evgeni Nabokov, apparently.
Nabokov is a 39-year-old who last has a .905 with the New York Islanders. But by this point in the evening all the young solid backup goalies were taken (Thomas Greiss, Chad Johnson, Justin Peters, and Al Montoya)
No word yet on the contract, but this is almost certainly a stopgap measure intended to allow Gudlevskis and Vasilevskiy to remain in Syracuse, getting the playing time they need. Should Bishop go down with an injury, either of the kids can come up and get intermittent NHL time.
Cap hit on Nabokov's one-year deal with Tampa Bay is $1.55 million.— Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) July 1, 2014
Correction: Boyle's AAV in TB is $2M, not $2.3M. Bad typing error by me. Regret the inconvenience.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2014
The move makes some sense -- Tampa Bay was reportedly in on a few veteran forwards to balance out what might have otherwise been a very, very young lineup, and Boyle has some good qualities. But part of the reason Boyle wanted out of New York was apparently a chance to play a scoring role, which doesn't seem likely in Tampa. He'll presumably be the fourth line center behind Steven Stamkos, Valtteri Filppula, and Tyler Johnson.
Release from the team:
TAMPA BAY -The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent center Brian Boyle to a three-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Boyle, 6-foot-7, 244 pounds, played in all 82 games with the New York Rangers in 2013-14, recording six goals and 18 points with a plus-1 rating. He was second on New York for hits with 154 and second among forwards with more than 500 draws taken for face-off percentage with 52.9 percent. Boyle also played in all 25 Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Rangers, helping them to the Stanley Cup Final. He recorded three goals and eight points during this year's postseason.
A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, Boyle has played in 391 career NHL games with the Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings, recording 52 goals and 100 points along with 311 penalty minutes. He has played the previous five seasons in New York.
Boyle was drafted by the Kings in the first round, 26th overall, at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He played college hockey at Boston College prior to joining the professional ranks.
Boyle's NHL.com Profile: http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470619
Syracuse Crunch fans will probably get to see a familiar face with the signing of the forward. Blunden spent the majority of the 2013-2014 AHL season with the Hamilton Bulldogs, netting 18 goals and 37 points.
The forward has been the captain of the Syracuse Crunch for two seasons and played in his 500th American Hockey League game this past season.
While everyone else is still chasing Matt Niskanen, the Tampa Bay Lightning have signed the best UFA defenseman available in Anton Stralman to a 5 year, 20 million dollar contract.
Chad Schnarr at Bolt Prospects has a way of words, this tweet -- his thoughts at the end -- summarizes my thoughts on the news Iggy signs with Colorado in a 3-year deal:
RT @TSNBobMcKenzie: Iginla gets $5.5M, $5.5M and $5M in each of three years with COL. // Thank you, Colorado.— Bolt Prospects (@BoltProspects) July 1, 2014
Some Atlantic Division teams are spehttp://movies.netflix.com/WiHomending wisely; others, not so much.
An earlier tweet suggested Tampa Bay as a possible landing point.
St. Louis signs Paul Stastny.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) July 1, 2014
Signing a UFA center never really made sense for the Lightning, and with the biggest names now off the board (Jason Spezza traded to the Stars, Stastny signed in St. Louis) the focus can rightly shift to the blue line and in goal.
A potential UFA option to back up Ben Bishop this year in Tampa Bay is off the market.
Or I guess maybe these guys:
Justin Peters, also off the market:
Peters signs with Caps, Washington Post reports.— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) July 1, 2014
That leaves very few goalies available to the Lightning.
5-years, $20M for Pouliot... 4-years, $14.5M for Fayne #Oilers— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 1, 2014
Obvious overpay for Pouliot there, but he still comes in at an AAV that isn't going to break your salary structure and along with Purcell and Fayne should help Edmonton's very serious possession woes.
Going form a last-place team to a first place team and title contender is clearly the motive behind Christian Ehrhoff signing today:
Penguins get Christian Ehrhoff for their defense. Good replacement for Niskanen.— Kevin Allen (@ByKevinAllen) July 1, 2014
Ehrhoff had been bought-out by the Buffalo Sabres just a few short days ago. He became one of the marquee names in NHL free agency... and he's off the market almost immediately.
Montreal signs C Manny Malhotra to one-year. $850,000 deal.— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) July 1, 2014
Malhotra was a candidate for the Mastertson Trophy last season after returning to the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes following a career-threatening eye injury. He'll fill a bottom six defesnive/penalty killing role for the Habs.
From TSN's Darren Dreger:
D.Boyle expects 4 offers. Washington is believed to have joined a group of teams that also includes Tor, Mtl, Det, NYR and Tampa Bay. #FAF— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2014
Per our earlier story, the going rate may or may not be $5.5 per annum for Boyle.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Raw Charge's open thread for the opening day of NHL free agency. While Iit's the media that seems to rush the process ("Free Agent renzy!") it's not a certainty there will be many signings around the league today, or if all the big names will be snatched up within a week...
That doesn't mean we don't want you here talking about it. No, this is our dedicated spot for ongoing discussion of league-wide rumors, speculation, and transactions.
The former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman has been linked to Tampa in some rumors leading up to today's start of free agency.
The Lightning lost some of its depth in the backend this morning with the start of free agency:
Korobov has been sent a qualifying offer from the Bolts, so he remains Lightning property in the NHL. He made his NHL debut during the 2013-14 season but played only 3 games, earning a single assist. His 71 games in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch were looked at as somewhat regressive for his second year in North America. He posted 26 points with the Crunch (3 goals, 23 assists) but was a minus-12 on a rebuilding team.
Good luck to him back home.
I hope someone made sure that Yzerman got something for that insomnia of his. Because when Steve doesn't sleep, no one sleeps. #TBLightning— Cassie McClellan (@dagmar27) July 1, 2014
Profound and precise after what we went through last night. get your shut-eye when you can, Tampa Bay Lightning and general NHL fans. Tomorrow is going to be an adventure.
If there is one thing that's happened to Cory Conacher since his trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Ottawa Senators in spring 2013, it's the fact he hasn't latched on to his two landing points since the deal.
Once heralded as a eventual Calder Award candidate, Conacher was made expendable by the club because of it's undersized corps of forwards. Too many. Ottawa took him on and Conacher outright struggled with the Senators, scoring a total of 6 goals and 19 assists in 72 games in Ottawa, as well as a plus-14 in his time with the club.
On March 4th of this year, the Sens placed Conacher on waivers, planning to send him to Binghamton of the AHL... That wasn't going to happen as Conacher was still a interesting property for NHL clubs. The Buffalo Sabres wasted no time in claiming him and inserting him into their lineup. He scored 3 goals and 3 assists in his 19 game stint with the club. And now the Sabres have not extended a qualifying offer to him, makign him a free agent come tomorrow.
While I loved the idea of the Lightning bringing Conacher back through a waiver claim, I don't know if the club would show any interest in bringing him back to Tampa now. A waiver claim in March would ahe been a morale boost for the Bolts Tampacuse corps. But with Jonathan Drouin waiting in the wings and other forward depth in the system ready to play in the NHL, adding Conacher back to the roster just doesn't look like it'll be in the cards. Best wishes to him.
he became the odd man out during the 2013-14 NHL season,a nd the Tampa Bay Lightning could not move him despite being very public about his availability. It becomes no surprise that defenseman Keith Aulie was not extended a qualifying offer form the club this afternoon, making him an unrestricted free agent come noon tomorrow.
Anders Lindback was the other high-end RFA who was not qualified by the club this afternoon, but it's not news they didn't playn to give him a qualifying offer.
Aulie played only 15 games with the Lightning this past season, notching a single assist. He was a minus-three.
On the eve of the 2014 NHl free agent signing period, the Bolts clearest roster need is now on the lower lines.
After a series of trades leaves the forward corps on the Tampa Bay Lightning looking very different than 24 hours ago, the Bolts are poised to make some noise come July 1.
He's not done yet, folks.
The Lightning, of course, have more than enough forwards to fill these spots. But the clearing of salary is pretty obvious. Another $1.6M in cap space cleared. Steve Yzerman has plenty of space to work with when free agency opens on Tuesday.
It's unclear whether anything else will break tonight.
He quickly flipped Gagner to the Arizona Coyotes, along with winger BJ Crombeen, for a 6th round pick in 2015.
That seems like a pittance for Gagner and Crombeen, but this is a pure salary dump move and Arizona has an internal cap to worry about. You're not going to get full value for assets everyone knows you don't actually want.
FYI that Tampa Bay is retaining 1/3 of Gagner's salary in trade to Arizona— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2014
This seems odd given the 'salary dump' appearance of today's moves in general.
It's only speculation, but one might think Yzerman would only agree to such a small return if he knew he could use the cap space remaining to sign an impactful free agent on July 1.
Draft pick going to Tampa in Gagner/Crombeen trade is a 6th in 2015— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2014
So, a sixth round draft pick comes back to Tampa Bay in the deal. The club collectively sheds $5.6 million from the salary cap by trading away Purcell and Crombeen. An asset is acquired in the 6th round pick but the goal here looks like the creation of cap space.
I believe you can start your free agent speculation now.
This is all playing out at a breakneck pace.
Sounds like the Coyotes gave up draft picks and/or prospects to TB for Gagner.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 30, 2014
PHX gave up a draft pick to TB for Sam Gagner and B.J. Crombeen. TB clearing salary cap room.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2014
Gagner was acquired maye an hour ago? Talk had it Tampa Bay would buy him out. That talk is now dead. We'll keep you informed on this as it develops.
After obtaining Sam Gagner from the Edmonton Oiilers, the Bolts send him to the Arizona Coyotes.
"Optimus Reim" was his nickname in recent years from Toronto Maple Leaf fans who rallied around young goalie James Reimer. Reimer was a bright spo but never quite good enough for Leafs management. Rumors often swirled that Toronto was seeking to acquire another goalie.
I don't want to give a full history lesson on Toronto and Reimer, you'd best look elsewhere to find coverage of that. But with a contientious relationship between himself and head coach Randy Carlyle, it appears James has had enough. Nick Kypreos (who erroneously reported on Spezza to Tampa Bay recently) reported via Twitter that Reimer has asked to be traded. Read a full write-up on the situation over at Maple Leafs Hot Stove for more.
Though we don't know for sure what was on the table, we're made aware who Steve Yzerman wasn't willing to give up to move up.
The 24-year old defenseman will be brought back for at least one more year.
Per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times:
#TBLightning Yzerman indicated they're probably done addressing the blueline. Will explore but "really difficult" to do anything else.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 27, 2014
This contradicts earlier reports but might make sense given the Bolts still have several RFAs left to sign (Andrej Sustr, Richard Panik, Brett Connolly, Cody Kunyk, Mark Barberio ... plus Keith Aulie and Dmitry Korobov, if they're brought back) and a UFA goaltender to find to back up Ben Bishop.
Of course, trying to read Tampa Bay Lightning tea leaves with Steve Yzerman at the helm of the organization is often a fruitless effort. Stay tuned.
Acquiring Jason Garrison from the Vancouver Canucks improves the Lightning on the blueline (filling a void left by Sami Salo who is gone via unrestricted free agency). But is that the last move on the blueline we'll see in the coming days? Billy Jaffe says no:
Fully expect #TBLightning to add another top 4 vet dman btwn today & July 2. They have the picks & room (plus the need).— Billy Jaffe (@BJaffe) June 27, 2014
Take this opinion as an excuse for your speculation to continue...
Some in the Raw Charge community saw Ryan Kesler as the answer to one issue or another in the top-6 of the Bolts lineup... Others saw it as a want move and not something real to consider. Whatever the case, Kesler is no longer on the table to be moved as he has been dealt.
Anaheim will trade Bonino, Sbisa plus 24th overall pick and teams will swap third-rounders once deal goes through— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 27, 2014
This is a long-time-coming trade, though where he was to be moved was always in question.
Did the Canucks get a fair return on this deal?
TSN's Bob McKenzie suggests the Lightning and Montreal Canadiens are after the veteran defesnseman who may or may not willingly move to another club.
Lecavalier's agent, Kent Hughes has permission to speak to teams re: trade. Vinny gets a $2 mil bonus on July 1, so trade before is tough.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 26, 2014
Where Lecavalier lands is up for debate, and who could use him as well. I personally think he ought to go to a young team that needs leadership - one not in the arctic circle with a habit of drafting early - like the Florida Panthers. But if Vinny wants to win, he'll have to be ready to play a bit role on the team he lands with.
The Lightning ink the right wing to a 2-year deal.
That being said, Erik had some nuggets from this afternoon's press conference with GM Steve Yzerman that he shared on the subject of defense and the 2014 NHL free agency period which officially commences on July 1:
Yzerman said ideally he'd like to acquire a young D under contract via trade, but admits that's difficult to pull off— Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) June 25, 2014
You may commence your speculation now as to who Yzerman has talked to.
As for the trade talk -- it comes down to cost to acquire (and how well that player fits both on the roster and under the cap). While Tampa Bay has assets to play around with in the 2014 NHL draft, Yzerman likely puts higher value on the draft picks worth than potential trade partners.
The 29-year-old forward will be paid an average of $5.8 million a year over the length of the contract.
The club parts ways with the veteran wing, who had only one year remaining on his contract.
Very productive talks today between SCG and @TBLightning regarding pending UFA Ryan Callahan. Finding common ground toward new deal— Scott Bartlett (@SCGscott) June 25, 2014
With just days remaining until free agency officially opens on July 1, and with the interview period starting in earnest tomorrow, the Bolts are running out of time to get an extension done for Callahan before he can start fielding UFA offers from other teams.
While this latest update seems optimistic, so have the last dozen or so updates on the ongoing negotiations between Callahan's camp and the Lightning.
His name has popped up a number of times in discussions among Raw Charge community members; Andrei Markov was a target (or a wished target) for the Tampa Bay Lightning to pursue during the 2014 NHL free agent signing period.
Not happening. Not after today's news:
The Montreal Canadiens have re-signed pending unrestricted free agent defenceman Andrei Markov to a three-year deal. It has been reported by Elliot Friedman that his new deal is worth $5.75 million per season. Markov had just finished the final year of his current three-year contract which also had a cap hit of $5.75 million per season
And there's your going rate for free agent defensemen this off-season.
The Lightning are in the market, from fan speculation and third-party talk, for a top-4 defenseman. Internal answers exist but if they're ready to assume roles remains to be seen.
It's being looked at quizically by many... that may be putting it nicely.
While Adam summarizes the chaos that usually follows the Flyers off-season around, the carousel applies to the entire National Hockey League this week (if not next week as well) as we edge closer to the NHL draft on Friday and free agency beginning next Tuesday.
Annually on Raw Charge, we have a web page called the Lined-Up Update that chronicles some of the transactiosn taking place in the Lightning organization. This usually includes player-signings, trandes, and buyouts. It's not an exat or concise list, so don't expect listing s of late round draft picks who sign entry level contracts, but it does give a overview of some marquee players who enter the system.
It's worth noting, maybe even bookmarking, for reference through the off-season.
Julien BriseBois, Syracuse Crunch general manager, has outlined which Crunch free agents the team is keeping, wants to keep, and isn't keeping.
Speculation will begin about where Richards will head next -- like Vincent Lecavalier before him, he's still a useful NHLer just not at the price he was costing against the cap.
However, with the current depth chart of quality centermen in the Lightning organization, a return to Tampa Bay seems unlikely.
The New York Islanders claimed Evgeni Nabokov off waivers when he was returning to North American from the KHL. Nabokov had signed with the Detroit Red Wings in 2011... Nabokov's intention was never to play for the New York Islanders, and yet he's been in New York for three years since.
That's all coming to a close, though. Newsday reports Nabokov rejected the Islanders contract offer (a one-year deal.) It's not etched in stone that he's going to depart to another NHL team, but with how Evgeni was often made the scapegoat on a woeful Islanders team (and though his goaltending was suspect at times) it might be wiser for him to seek a backup role elsewhere.
Nabby posted a .905 save percentage and a 2.74 GAA with the Isles last season in 40 appearances. he'll turn
37 39 in late July.
If you think Tampa Bay is still all about bad attendance and wacky personnel moves, you haven't been paying attention.
The Lightning announced this morning that they have re-signed center Alex Killorn to a two-year deal. Killorn was scheduled to become an RFA on July 1. A third-round pick in 2007, Killorn was in his first full season with the Lightning. He had 17 goals and 24 assists in 82 games, playing mostly with Teddy Purcell and Valtteri Filppula. No salary details are available at this time.
Expect Steve Yzerman and the Lightning to continue to re-sign their young, pending free agents, as they try to maintain the core of the group that brought the Lightning back to the playoffs again this past season. It will be an extended job for the front office. They recently re-inked Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson. Among the Tampacuse guys still without contracts are Richard Panik, J.T. Brown, Andrej Sustr, and Mark Barberio. This is, of course, in addition to any other negotiations, such as those with pending UFA Ryan Callahan.
[UPDATE:] Salary info via ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun:
Bolts re-sign Alex Kilorn: two years, $5.1 million ($2.4 M, $2. 7M)— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 19, 2014
Despite acquiring his rights from the San Jose Sharks for a conditional fifth round pick less than two weeks ago, New York Islanders GM is reportedly looking to flip the rights to Dan Boyle after unsuccessfully trying to sign him to a contract to play on Long Island.
Boyle, who will be 38 in July, spent parts of six seasons in Tampa Bay and won the Stanley Cup with the Bolts in 2003-04. His name had been briefly linked to the Lightning when he came available the first time earlier this month.
With Sami Salo's contract expired and holes on the right side of Tampa Bay's defense group, Boyle is certainly an interesting name for the Lightning to consider:
Only way I'd want Boyle back in TB is if he played very limited minutes as a PP and offensive situation specialist. Would be paid as such.— Bolt Prospects (@BoltProspects) June 18, 2014
Agent has said Boyle would be interested in reunion with #tblightning, still has home here. Question is if role and $ would be a fit— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) June 18, 2014
So the interest is there: the question, then, becomes about fit, both in terms of dollar and presumed role. Does Boyle want to still be top-4 on a legitimate contender? Or would he accept a lower salary to play as a 6th or 7th defenseman and power play specialist while mentoring the relatively young blue line (now minus Salo).
With trades, free agency, and compliance buyouts taking place this summer, several big-name players could be calling a new team home next season.
You could see this coming at the time he signed, but Vinny Lecavalier is likely done in Philly.
While trade talk and free agency has been common for some time among Lightning fans and bloggers, it's not out of the question for the Bolts to stand pat and promote form within.
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