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Lightning Round: Three more years of Mikhail Sergachev

A perfect Thanksgiving present for the fans

2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced this deal when people were least expecting it - on the day before Thanksgiving, in some way expressing gratitude to the fans for believing in the team after a devastating loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2019 and staying with them till the Stanley Cup Final. If you need details of this deal, Geo summoned it up for you in his yesterday’s article [Raw Charge]

The contract has a cap hit of $4.8 million. According to Pierre Lebrun, the first year will pay him $2.4 million, the second year will pay $4.8 million, and the third year will pay him $7.2 million. $1.5 million in each of the first and second seasons will be paid as a signing bonus. Sergachev will be a restricted free agent again when this contract ends.

This deal, as many others which have been signed during this offseason, has a significant part of salary being paid in the later years of the contract. This is the way the NHL teams are trying to avoid more financial issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After this deal, the Lightning are $1.9 million over the cap for the next season, however they still have around $5 million in off-season cap space, which should help them to work with other unsigned RFAs. The Lightning still need to sign Anthony Cirelli, Erik Cernak as well as Mathieu Joseph and Alex Volkov. Dominik Masin also remains unsigned, however the possibility of him coming back is very low. At this moment the Lightning have 19 players under the contract: 12 forwards - 5 defencemen - 2 goaltenders

On his call with local media, the Lightning’s GM Julien BriseBois expressed confidence that the team will be able to move some players in order to create a cap space for Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak. The Lightning recently tried to trade Tyler Johnson, however the attempt was unsuccessful.

Mikhail Sergachev himself has also been very happy after the announcement. Earlier this year he mentioned that Tampa Bay is the place where he wants to retire.

Lightning Links

Maxim Cajkovic made our list in the second consecutive year, ending up at the 16th place. Geo believes that Cajkovic has an NHL future [Raw Charge]

Cajkovic has a great shot, and is more shooter than he is passer. His NHL future isn’t clear, but there’s enough there to envision him playing a depth scoring role if he continues to develop offensively, shore up his defensive game, and if he has solved his attitude issues. We know that Jon Cooper doesn’t put up with depth players that aren’t at least okay defensively, so that is something I will be looking for him to show in the AHL in 2021-22. I don’t think he’s shown enough of that in Juniors, or even in the ICEHL, though and needs to make some big steps in the right direction.

A sneak peek of how Yanni Gourde spent his day with the Cup

Seven years ago Nikita Kucherov made his debut for the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring his first goal on his first shot against Henrik Lundqvist. Earlier this year our writer Natalia (@exxtragalactic) translated a huge story about his life. Here’s a little fragment of this this story that might convince you to read the whole translation.

Around the Hockey

Johnny Boychuk announced his retirement after suffering an eye injury during last season. The 36-year old defenceman played in 725 regular season games and in 104 games in the postseason. In 2011 he won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins.

Hockey Canada placed all players and staff under quarantine after some players tested positive at the World Junior selection camp.