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Lightning Round: Details of contract negotiations with Mikhail Sergachev

In his short interview, Sergachev noted that he wouldn’t have signed an offer sheet.

Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Two Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

After the Tampa Bay Lightning announced his new deal on Wednesday, Mikhail Sergachev spoke to Pavel Lysenkov, a writer for the Russian version of NHL.com, about his first feelings and how this deal became real. In general, the Russian defenceman seems very happy.

If someone told me that i’m going to make such money, when i was a 10-year old kid playing in Nizhnekamsk, i would have never believed! I’m very happy with this contract and Tampa Bay too. This is the most important thing and we also have the spirit to win another Cup.

Sergachev’s agent Mark Gandler also shared details of their negotiations with the Lightning. Reportedly the Lightning GM Julien Brisebois contacted Sergachev’s camp during the first week after the Stanley Cup Final.

We knew that the Lightning have serious cap space issues and weren’t able to sign a long-term contract with Mikhail. Signing a two-year deal wasn’t profitable neither for us nor the team. So a three-years deal was perfect for both sides, and me and Mikhail agreed immediately. This question was solved during the first week after the Stanley Cup win, the further negotiations were about money.

Mikhail Sergachev also responded to the question on whether he would have signed an offer sheet, if some NHL team made an offer.

I think offer sheets are part of the hockey. But it also depends on the player. If I received such an offer, i probably wouldn’t have signed it, even it was a big money. The main priority for me is playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning. To be back with the team and play with our stars. Obviously i didn’t want to change either the city or the team. I’m happy we’ve signed this deal with Tampa Bay.

Sergachev was also asked about his teammates – Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak, both players currently remains unsigned. Julien BriseBois earlier expressed confidence he’ll be able to sign them before the start of the season too.

During our negotiations with the Lightning, I had one phone call with Julien BriseBois. We’ve discussed what term would be the best for the team and we were okay with their offer. We didn’t talk about the money. BriseBois said he needs to make some space under the cap. Me and Mark didn’t bother him, didn’t call, didn’t text, but occasionally BriseBois let us know that he didn’t forgot about us and was still putting the things together. Recently he called us, suggesting to sign a contract.

I don’t know about Cernak or Cirelli, but probably they’re nervous. I was nervous too. Of course, I wanted to sign the contract as soon as possible, not have to think about it anymore and just prepare for the new season. On the other side I wasn’t very nervous, I always knew we would reach the agreement. We have a great team and a great general manager. He knows perfectly well how to make it happen. I guess Erik and Anthony don’t think about it it much and are just preparing for the season.

Lightning Links

Two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy, Victor Hedman became a father. Joe Smith of the Athletic spoke with Hedman about these very important events in life of Swedish defenceman [The Athletic]

What was your favorite moment the night you guys won the Cup, your most vivid memory of that celebration?

It was different because we’re in the bubble, and it’s just the guys. We got to spend so much time together. We spent a few hours in the locker room after and then a few hours at the hotel. We boarded the plane pretty early the next morning, so there wasn’t a lot of sleep. We were just enjoying the time together. We had two different rooms. We had dinner in our normal room and then everyone kind of gets changed and we go hang in the suite. Just a lot of talking, and laughing, having a good time.

The Athletic also tried to predict how the standings will change by the 2023-24 NHL season. The Lightning ended up at the 11th place, even lower than the Detroit Red Wings [The Athletic]

Russo on management and coaching: We’re going to trust the fact that shrewd GM Julien BriseBois figures out a way to navigate this ship through the rough storm that lies ahead the rest of this offseason. This team’s in cap hell and still hasn’t solved that problem, but once it does, the Lightning are poised to be good for a long, long time. Their Cup-champion roster is elite, they’ve got a handful of prospects coming to fill in gaps and, if there is a slip, well, they have the best coach in the NHL in Jon Cooper to correct the path.