Julien BriseBois and the Tampa Bay Lightning front office were very busy on Christmas Eve signing their last big RFA this offseason – Anthony Cirelli. The 23-year-old forward signed a 3-year, 4.8M AAV contract with the team. In his first year of the contract Cirelli will receive $2.4 M ($1.5 in signing bonus plus $900k salary), the second year will be $4.8 M ($1.5 M in signing bonuses plus $3.3 M salary) and the last year is $7.2 M (all salary)
However, the Lightning still isn’t done this offseason. Even after putting Nikita Kucherov’s contract on LTIR, the Bolts are $2,191,666 over the cap hit. Per Joe Smith, Julien BriseBois is still working on some trades to clear the cap space and would like to avoid putting players on waivers. The two most likely candidates for a potential trade remain Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson, although at this time the Lightning could move just one of them. We’ve already heard some rumours regarding a potential trade with the Detroit Red Wings and definitely will hear more in the next few days.
#tblightning GM Julien BriseBois said yesterday he’s still working on trades to clear cap space. They’re $2 million over even with Kucherov on LTIR. Would like some in-season flexibility. Prefer not to put guys on waivers so expect a move or two. Can also carry 20/21 on roster https://t.co/ut34tt4fQk— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) December 24, 2020
Speaking of the Cirelli contract, he received even more than some of his contract projections were. For instance, Evolving-Hockey projected his contract at $4.4M, which is $0.4M less than Cirelli’s actual contract. Still a very good price for a player with Selke Trophy potential.
Our contract projection for Anthony Cirelli on a 3yr deal was $4.4M (he signed for 3 x $4.8M). Cirelli is a very very strong forward. Tampa has done it again folks!— Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey) December 24, 2020
Here is our new GAR/xGAR Player Card for Cirelli's prior 3-years: pic.twitter.com/Jozhw489fd
Meanwhile, the Lightning sent a note to their season ticket members, announcing that the attendance at Lightning home games at Amalie Arena will be at 23-percent capacity this season. The opening game is scheduled for January 13, against the Chicago Blackhawks.
#tblightning sent out note to season ticket members today and said they’d be at 23-percent capacity in the seating bowl of Amalie Arena for home games this season. People can be in seating pods of two or four seats. Home opener Jan. 13. pic.twitter.com/ANIAjb0orn— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) December 24, 2020
On the opening day of the 2021 World Juniors, Lightning prospect Maxim Groshev scored his first assist of the tournament on the second goal by Russian team.
Around the Hockey
The NHL released a statement that the league has reached a preliminary agreement with Canadian health authorities that the Canadian teams will be able to start their season at home arenas, however it hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.
Statement from Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on NHL Canadian Clubs Playing in Home Arenas. pic.twitter.com/mtCLTwlLcB— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 24, 2020
At the opening day of the 2021 World Juniors, Slovakia shutdown Switzerland with a big help of their goaltender Simon Latkoczy, the depleted German still lost to Finland, despite giving an opponent a big fight and team Russia were better than USA. A more detailed recap is coming later at Raw Charge.