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Lightning Round: Who would you rather let go, Cirelli or Sergachev?

And tentative dates for REturn to Play and the 2020-21 season.

Vegas Golden Knights v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

With The salary cap staying flat at $81.5 million for next season, old problems have become relevant for the Tampa Bay Lightning again. Currently the Lightning have already signed 15 players to a total of $76.1 million, not including youngsters Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak, who have become a significant part of this season’s team. Joe Smith of the Athletic examined the best-case scenario for the Lightning, which supposes re-signing those three players.

The Lightning will have to clear more than $10 million in cap space, at the very least, and move some of their younger prospects up into bigger roles. It seems like winger Alex Killorn could be a top candidate to get moved, much like J.T. Miller was last summer. Killorn is coming off a career season (26 goals), and his contract isn’t bad (three more years at $4.45 million AAV). So a team would be getting a versatile power forward who can play in all situations, is 30 years old, with three more years on his contract. Killorn also has a no-trade clause that changes to a modified (16 team no-trade list) this offseason, giving the Lightning some rare flexibility. Whether Killorn could net a first-round pick (like J.T. Miller did) remains to be seen, but let’s say his hometown Canadiens are interested and would deal a (second-round) pick?

This scenario also assuming the departure of such players as Alex Killorn, who scored more than 20 goals in a single season for the first time in his career, or Tyler Johnson, whose better days have already passed but he’s still able to provide a solid impact for middle-six lines. Another requirement is the stepping up of prospects like Alex Volkov, Cal Foote or Boris Katchouk. During the last regular season appearances Volkov has struggled to find his role on the ice, despite playing a majority of his time on top lines with Nikita Kucherov or Steven Stamkos. We cannot expect an immediate impact from this player, which would definitely hurt our chances to create a competitive team like in the previous seasons.

However it’s still only the best-case scenario. The Lightning’s front office has already shown an ability to persuade a player to sign a bridge deal which is more beneficial for the team than the player, but it can’t work all the time. In this case, the Lightning will need to decide who needs to go.

Poll

Which player’s departure would you prefer to see?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Anthony Cirelli
    (65 votes)
  • 38%
    Mikhail Sergachev
    (40 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now

Other News and Notes

Frank Seravalli of the TSN has shared critical dates for the rest of the 2020-21 season, according to them the qualifying round will start on July 30, the first round of playoffs will begin at August 9 and the Stanley Cup Final is scheduling since September 20 to October 2, which means that the NHL Entry Draft will be held on October 6.

Some potential dates for the 2020-21 season have also become known: currently the NHL is preparing for start of the next season on December 1, but it still might change.

Also according to the new CBA free agent interviews have been eliminated

Meanwhile Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital is battling with a recent COVID-19 outbreak. The facility have been shut down after dying of three patients and another 20 patients and 15 stuff infected. Edmonton is expected to become a one of two hub cities for the NHL’s return to Play plan.

NHL haven’t responded yet to this incident, but released a list of on-ice officials who’s getting their assignments for RTP.

Reportedly Lindy Ruff will become the new New Jersey Devils head coach. He recently worked as an assistant coach of the New York Rangers.

The Florida Panthers released Chris Pronger from his duty

The Orlando Solar Bears announced of signing a veteran forward Peter MacArthur, who spent a previous year in Italy.

The season finale of Alex Killorn’s Dock Talk is expected on this Friday at 6pm on Killorn’s instagram.