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Lightning Round: Mikhail Sergachev talks about his new contract

“I want to grow as a player and win titles“.

New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Earlier this week Mikhail Sergachev signed eight-year, $8.5 million dollar extension with the Tampa Bay Lightning, that made him the highest-paid defenseman on the roster. Shortly after the deal was announced, Sergachev gave a quick press conference to the Russian media. Sport24 summarized details from this press conference:

About the new contract

The negotiations went very easy. We’ve met with Julien BriseBois just two days after Game 6, talked about the season. He liked my performance in both regular season and playoffs and said that they want to extend me. Then it was on Dan Milstein to finalize the deal.

The whole team congratulated me and Victor Hedman was one of the first. Obviously, some people will be joking about me earning more than Hedman. But everyone knows this is business. I can’t say i asked more money than Hedman, negotiations just went this way. i don’t think Hedman is offended, he understands how it all works.

It was very important to me to stay with the team for eight years. When i first heard about the term, i realized they want to give me more responsibility. This is the main thing for me, i want to grow as a player and win titles. I see it in this team. That the Lightning expect more from me. The most important thing is that they trust me. If i had an opportunity, i’d choose a full no-move clause for the whole term, because i want to play in Tampa Bay.

About the change of agent

Mark Gandler and his team are the big professionals, i’m very grateful to them. I’ve signed my first contract with him, when i was 15-16, he did a lot to me. It went well, we are still in touch. It’s hard to explain why we parted ways, there wasn’t just one reason.

About Ivan Fedotov

I feel sorry about his career. He won silver medal at the Olympics, carried CSKA to the Gagarin Cup in the KHL. Hope he will get through it. It’s hard to say anything here. I support him, even though we don’t know each other personally. I don’t know why it’s all happened, but i feel sorry about him.

About summer plans

I don’t have any plans for offseason yet. I wanted to visit the US Open final, but that’s it so far. I want to visit my hometown Nizhnekamsk, but didn’t made a decision if i’m going to Russia this year. I’m going to start preparing for the new season on July 30. I would like to study management at business school. I already graduated as an accountant two years ago. I can be Nikita Kucherov’s accountant. I don’t think about second education yet.

About losing to the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup final

It’s silly to throw everything on tiredness. In the final, you’re catching your second breath. I’m not going to make excuses. The Avalanche were better, we fell a little bit short. You’ve all seen how many injuries we all had, we played too many games — that was the reason behind those injuries. Your body and head are very tired, but when you see your partners playing with broken hands and legs, it motivates you to go forward. Looking at guys playing through the pain and realising that you cannot let them down. It was incredible.

I’m trying to restrain myself, don’t let myself to get very excited. No reason to be excited when you lost. i didn’t even realise that we played in Stanley Cup final in three consecutive years because of it. I hope that our team will go down in history, I think that the guys deserve it. The Lightning have been dominant for a long time. But who am I to call our team a dynasty?

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