-HE’S BACK! Brayden Point finally re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday, ending the long-extended drama that started early last summer when Point became a RFA. The momentous occasion broke with this tweet from Eric Francis:
Brayden Point signed for 3 years at $6.75 million.— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) September 23, 2019
Geo jumped on the news as soon as he could, pumping out our happy feelings for all to see.
All-in-all, I give the Lightning an A on this deal. It’s a good, solid contract that should work out well for both sides. Point has given himself some financial stability. The Lightning have gotten a top-20 in the NHL player for a reasonable contract for the next three seasons. It took longer than we all wanted, but it feels good to see it finally done and over the finish line.
CapFriendly did their thing and broke it down pretty quickly:
The celebration continued:
Since we're re-litigating the Mitch Marner contract now, can we talk about how bad this looks?— Ian Tulloch (@IanGraph) September 23, 2019
Sebastian Aho: $8.45M x 6 years
Brayden Point: $6.75M x 3 years
Mitch Marner: $11.00M x 6 years
Our look at how Brayden Point deal got done and what the ripple effect will be on future Lightning RFAs and cap crunch. On deal that may be more even than you think. “The proverbial win-win.” #tblightning https://t.co/7EGqAaQHwH— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) September 23, 2019
Sadly, the excitement was dampened just slightly by the news that Point isn’t immediately ready to play:
Lightning GM Julien BriseBois on a conference call w/ media, said Brayden Point had hip surgery in the spring, doesn't expect him to be ready for the season opener. Projected to be cleared to play by late October. #Bolts— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) September 23, 2019
-With almost suspicious timing, news of Point’s re-signing came on the heels of our most secret and totally real release of the transcripts of conversations between Julien BriseBois and Point’s agent. It’s real. This happened. We swear.*
GJ: Can we just talk about my client for a moment. I honestly think $11 million over 8 years is perfectly reasonable based on what we’ve seen other players sign. I know it makes things a little tight this year, but I figure you can make it work. Trade one of the 34 goaltenders on you roster.
JBB: Hey, I got a plan for all of those goalies. I suppose you want a no trade clause with this contract as well?
GJ: Of course, I think that’s pretty standard.
JBB: You realize that at $11 million a year, that’s like $19 million a year once you adjust for the tax situation in Florida, right?
GJ: I don’t think that’s right.
JBB: No it’s right.
GJ: Seems a little high.
JBB: You’re a little high.
-The Lightning still have a few more cuts to make from their own preseason roster. Matt chimed in yesterday with his thoughts, and of note is his ponderings on guys that have already been sent to Syracuse, like forward Mitchell Stephens.
It wasn’t surprising that Stephens was sent back to Syracuse, only because his only way onto the roster was to vastly outplay Cedric Paquette for the fourth line center role or one of the other players looking to secure a winger position. His cut isn’t indicative of his play.
-Yesterday was an important anniversary for the Lightning, women’s hockey, and goalie Manon Rheaume.
-The Syracuse Crunch open their own training camp today with a roster that’s looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. A highlight is certainly those four goalies that are hanging about. Looks like our new goalie coach is going to get a workout!
-One name not on this list is Kevin Lynch. The forward was in the Lightning’s camp on a PTO, and was invited to Syracuse’s camp on another. However, he seems to have decided to explore his options elsewhere. We wish him the best.
Le Rocket de Laval a annoncé avoir invité l’attaquant Kevin Lynch à son camp d’entraînement.#GoRocket— Rocket de Laval (@RocketLaval) September 23, 2019
The Laval Rocket announced that forward Kevin Lynch has been invited to the club’s training camp. pic.twitter.com/Z9hpq48xS4
-The Crunch’s dressing room got a new look this past summer.
New carpet.— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) September 23, 2019
New season. pic.twitter.com/79CnY1GAmS
The Solar Bears
-The Orlando Solar Bears announced that Brent Pedersen is returning to the team.
“Brent is a player who is quickly developing into a high-end player in this league,” Solar Bears head coach and general manager Drake Berehowsky said. “After a strong season with us last year, we’re expecting him to take another step forward and be a leader for us offensively.”
In a conversation with ESPN, Hall went into detail about his frustrating 2018-19 season, why mainstream marketing opportunities are difficult for NHL players, how he views the Devils and why he looks up to Kawhi Leonard and Patrick Mahomes.
-The Toronto Maple Leafs waived goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo yesterday. If/when Kaskisuo is assigned to the AHL, it will leave just two in camp to fight for the backup job: Michael Hutchinson and Michal Neuvirth.
“These are big decisions for us as an organization,” said Leafs coach Mike Babcock. “We’re set up with some guys that are battling for a job. We’ll continue to watch them.”
-Eric Gryba announced his retirement over the weekend.
I’m hanging up the skates! I am proud of the career I was able to put together and couldn’t be more grateful of all the support I received along the way. I am excited for my next chapter and all the challenges that are to come. Now let’s hunt!#timetohunt #nextchapter #retirement pic.twitter.com/kUrLSe8o7U— Eric Gryba (@grybes02) September 23, 2019
“We are excited to welcome Haley as our new Hockey Ambassador to our organization,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder, Chairman, Principal Partner and CEO, Ted Leonsis. “Her talent on the ice and her dedication to engaging participants in the sport make her a terrific role model for aspiring athletes. Over the past several years, we have seen a tremendous increase in youth hockey participation across the area and we believe her addition will continue to spur growth among young participants.”
Once again the roster has been assembled to be one of the most competitive in the American League supported by veterans and returning players but is it the right mix? What can possibly be changed to have a different outcome in April? Did they add enough scoring to replace the scoring lost? Is the goaltending better? There’s 76 regular season games ahead to find out.
-Buffalo updated the status of some of their players yesterday:
The Sabres have announced injury updates regarding Jean-Sebastien Dea, Johan Larsson, Rasmus Ristolainen and Conor Sheary. pic.twitter.com/xftOh54XlX— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) September 23, 2019
-Mexico’s women’s team has its sights set on the Olympics, writes Berengere Sim of The Hockey News. (paywalled)
-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton landed at #8 in the Sports Business Journal’s countdown of the best minor league cities. WBS is home to the AHL farm club of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their own training camp is also ready to get going this week.
It is extremely important to note that this is merely a starting roster for camp. Looking at the Pittsburgh training camp roster as of their first round of cuts, Pittsburgh still has to cut at least half of its 46-player camp roster (28 forwards, 14 defense, 4 goalies). I can reasonably expect 6-7 defenders, 14-15 forwards, and two goaltenders to join WBS camp between the initial camp announcement today and the first regular season game October 5 at Hershey. Of the initial camp roster, I can see as few as 5 or 6 making WBS to start the season based solely on who is still to come down to WBS camp.
-Talented prospect Alexander Holtz has signed a contract until 21/22 with Djurgården’s men’s team.
-Here’s a list of 7 OHLers to watch in U SPORTS.
Every year, U SPORTS continues to prove itself as a haven for late blooming hockey players, and pro scouts are taking notice. This past season saw a number of student athletes ink AHL deals straight out of school and even an NHL entry level contract for Alberta’s Luke Philp. With the new U SPORTS hockey season right around the corner, here’s a look at seven former OHL players set to begin their varsity rookie seasons who could still attract interest from NHL teams.
-I don’t know what’s happening here, but...maybe some of you do?
*No, we don’t, and no, it isn’t.