The Tampa Bay Lightning announced yesterday that they have signed Cristoval “Boo” Nieves to a one-year two-way NHL contract worth $708,000 in the NHL. The 26-year-old has spent the last four seasons with the New york Rangers where he has scored five goals and 19 points in 76 games. Nieves was signed to a PTO at the beginning of training camp and earned his way onto the opening night roster.
With Nieves’ signing, the Lightning are within $334 (not thousand, dollars) of their cap limit. This means that once Nikita Kucherov, Marian Gaborik, and Anders Nilsson go onto LTIR, the Lightning will have a cap maximum of $334 less than the $81.5 million for the remaining players. Long story short, cap magic so that the Lightning can have maximum wiggle room once the season gets going.
It’s likely Nieves will be waived at some point during the season and sent to his hometown of Syracuse, NY to play for the Crunch as Tyler Johnson is expected to be called up from the Taxi Squad and play in the second game of the season. So after all the finagling, waiving Johnson was just for cap purposes. He’s on the team.
So after yesterday’s actions, the roster I described on Monday will have Nieves as the 13th forward and 21st roster player for opening night. The Taxi Squad includes the same players as we expected — there are reports that Ben Thomas and Andreas Borgman were sent to the Crunch, but I don’t believe that to be the case. Perhaps one move is moving Thomas to the AHL and having Nieves on the Taxi Squad.
You can read more into the team’s roster construction and where/how players will be moving once the season starts in this great piece by Justin. [Raw Charge]
“Tyler Johnson and Luke Schenn technically start the season on the taxi squad, but may be back in the Lightning line-up as soon as Friday. Johnson, who has seen time in camp on Anthony Cirelli’s line as well as both power play units is almost certain to be back on the ice against Chicago in game number two, while Schenn could linger a little longer if Cal Foote plays well in his NHL debut on Wednesday.”
“Plus, the Lightning had a process the entire team bought into during the playoffs that enabled them to lift the Cup and do it in dominant fashion, rolling through the postseason with an 18-7 record, never losing back-to-back games and never going more than six games in any series. They can draw on that process and that feeling of how well they played when everybody was performing their role to carry them into the upcoming season.”
Speaking of the Stanley Cup, the Lightning are preparing to unveil seven Stanley Cup Banners around the city of Tampa Bay in celebration of the team’s championship. Even though fans won’t be allowed into the building, the team still wants everyone to be able to revel in the victory. This is from their press release:
“The Lightning created seven 9’x15’ 2020 Stanley Cup replica banners to hang at multiple locations throughout Tampa Bay. The unveilings at each location will include Lightning representatives and alumni, city officials, healthcare and frontline workers, Season Ticket Members, ThunderBug and members from the Lightning’s Blue Crew.”
The Orlando Solar Bears had a great week, including the influx of talent as several players joined the team. Ryan Lohin and Devante Stephens were the most notable additions as they arrived from NHL camp with the Bolts. [Raw Charge]
“Toledo has elected to opt out of the season due to current COVID-19 restrictions in Ohio. Fort Wayne has decided it’s game on in Indiana, and will start a 50-game schedule the weekend of February 12th. With the roster of teams finalized, look for more additions to the schedule to be released shortly.”
The Boston Bruins have retired #22 in honor of Willie O’Ree, the first Black player in NHL history. The NHL was the last among the four major sports in North America to break the color barrier.
#NHLBruins announce Willie O'Ree's No. 22 will be the 12th number retired to the TD Garden rafters on Feb. 18, exactly 62 years and one month to the day after he became the first Black player to skate in the #NHL.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 12, 2021
A well-deserved honor for one of our game's greatest ambassadors.— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 12, 2021
The #NHLBruins are proud to announce that Willie O'Ree's No. 22 will be raised to the TD Garden rafters.
Full Details: https://t.co/gfSQLUVXU3 pic.twitter.com/0Azhqgz4MV
The Tampa Bay Lightning have the 30th best prospect pool in the NHL, according to Scott Wheeler. That’s fine, we have ringzzzz!!!!!!! What’s the Bruins excuse?