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Lightning Round: Recap of the first day of free agency

Tyler Johnson has been placed on waivers; Pat Maroon and Luke Schenn re-signed with the Lightning.

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It was a busy day for the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. No, Mikhail Sergachev and Anthony Cirelli haven’t re-signed yet and obviously it was very early to expect it on the opening day of the NHL free agency. However Julien BriseBois and his team took some steps to make it happen.

Just when the free agency window opened, the Lightning announced that Tyler Johnson was placed on waivers. Reportedly Johnson’s camp gave the Lightning a list of 7-8 teams, but the team wasn’t able to agree on a trade with any of them. Geo has a detailed breakdown of what could happen next [Raw Charge]

With Johnson being placed on waivers, now any team in the NHL can claim him without giving up any assets. It does mean the Lightning would get nothing back for him, but it also gets them out of his salary cap hit, which is ultimately what the team needs. If no one claims him though, then the Lightning are right back where they were today at 11:59am before they put him on waivers. There’s long enough before the season, that him having passed through waivers won’t mean anything by the time we get to opening night.

The Lightning also re-signed Pat Maroon and Luke Schenn. Maroon agreed on a two-year, $900,000 deal and Schenn signed a one-year, $800,000 worth contract. You can also learn more information on this deals from Geo’s article [Raw Charge]

Pat Maroon’s contract is for two years with a $900,000 salary cap hit. It’s the same cap hit as 2019-20, but gives him a couple years of security staying in Tampa Bay. In 64 games, playing on the fourth line and second power play, Maroon contributed nine goals and 23 points. He added a goal and six points in 25 playoff games. Maroon brought a certain attitude and edge to the bottom of the Lightning’s roster along with a chirping vocabulary to match.

The Lightning also tried to bring back Kevin Shattenkirk. Per Joe Smith he had been offered a three-year deal worth around $2 million AAV, but Shattenkirk’s camp had offers from other teams and eventually signed with the Anaheim Ducks to a three-year, $3.9M AAV deal.

Carter Verhaeghe is another departure. Yesterday he agreed on a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers, where he will obviously be given more TOI.

There was information that the Lightning are actively searching for a potential destination for Braydon Coburn, however the official talks between the Bolts and the defenseman’s camp haven’t started yet.

The Lightning didn’t forget about the Syracuse Crunch and added two players to its roster. They signed both defenseman Andreas Borgman and goaltender Chris Gibson to one-year, two-way contracts. Gibson had previously played for the Orlando Solar Bears, when the team was the Toronto Maple Leafs affiliate.

Around the League

Unlike the previous year NHL teams spent much less money on the opening day of free agency. The COVID-19 pandemic and a flat cap have definitely affected their spendings, however some interesting and questionable signings still happened

Matt Murray signed a four-year deal, worth $6.25M per year with the Ottawa Senators. The Sens still need to sign more deals to reach a cap floor, but six millions per year for a goaltender with .899 save percentage during the previous year seems like an overpayment.

It was a very busy day on a goaltender free market: Jacob Markstrom signed a six-year deals with the Calgary Flames and Braden Holtby took his place in the net of the Vancouver Canucks.

The Dallas Stars bring back Anton Khudobin after his stellar performance led them to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Washington Capitals officially announced signing of Swedish goaltender Henrik Lundquist.

Cam Talbot lands in Minnesota, it’s his fourth team in three years.

Corey Crowford agreed on a two-year deal with the New Jersey Devils

The St. Louis Blues officially moving on from Alex Pietrangelo and signed Torey Krug to a seven-year, $45.5 million deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed T.J. Brodie from the Calgary Flames, who is known mostly for his defensive part of the play, to a four-year deal. They also announced a signing of Wayne Simmonds who should be a solid addition to the Leafs second power-play unit.

Kyle Turris, who has been recently bought out by the Nashville Predators, signed with the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers also re-signed forward Tyler Ennis to a one-year, $1 million contract.

The New York Rangers made probably the most questionable deal of the day, signing Jack Johnson to a one-year deal

While the Detroit Red Wings are rumored to be a potential landing spot for Tyler Johnson, they signed a right winger Bobby Ryan, who previously played for the Senators.

After spending five seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Justin Schultz joins their main rival on a two-year deal.

The Florida Panthers have been very active on a first day of free agency, despite Carter Verhaeghe, they signed another former Lightning player Radko Gudas and offered contracts to Alex Wennberg and Vinnie Hinostroza

The Chicago Blackhawks lock Dominik Kubalik to two more years. Malcolm Subban has also re-signed with the team.

After spending ten years in the Ottawa Senators organization, Mark Borowiecki left Ottawa for the Nashville Predators, signing a two-year, $4 million contract. Nick Cousins also joins the Predators on a two-year deal.

Meanwhile the ECHL confirmed December 11 as a date of start for the 2020-21 season.

The Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill admitted that the new AHL season will not start before the NHL season starts