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Lightning Round: Free Agent Frenzy recap

Photo by Jesse Adair on Unsplash

The opening day of free agency period was quite a busy day for teams and the Tampa Bay Lightning were no exception. Yesterday, the Lightning front office made six signings, including five forwards and one goaltender. Unfortunately, the Lightning couldn’t keep forward Alex Killorn, who signed a new contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

The first signing of the day was Conor Sheary: a 31-year-old forward signed a three-year contract with an AAV of $2 million. Sheary will likely fill in a middle-six spot on the Lightning’s roster [Raw Charge]

Sheary is an eight-year veteran that has played with Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Washington. In 531 career games he has logged 120 goals, 132 assists, and 252 points. He is a two-time Stanley Cup winner whose best season was in 2016-17 when he scored 23 goals with 30 assists. Last year in Washington he played all 82 games and posted 15 goals with 22 helpers.

As the next step, the Lightning signed another former Pittsburgh player Josh Archibald to a two-year contract with an AAV of $880,000. He’s expected to have a bottom-six role with penalty kill responsibilities [Raw Charge]

Archibald was a 6th-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011 and has amassed a total of 305 NHL games over an 8-year career with the Penguins, Coyotes, and Oilers. Last season in 62 games with the Penguins he scored 6 goals and added 6 assists. For his career, he has 45 goals and 38 assists.

Luke Glendening became another depth signing of the Lightning. Glendening also signed a two-year, $880,000 AAV contract and will potentially replace Pierre-Edouard Bellemare as the fourth-line center. He’s also considered as one of the top faceoff specialists in the league, having won 57.9% of his faceoffs over the last five seasons, which is the fourth-best results in the whole league amongst players, who took at least 500 faceoffs over that span.

The Lightning also signed goaltender Jonas Johansson to a two-year contract with a $775,000 AAV on Saturday. According to general manager Julien BriseBois, Johansson will have the opportunity to fill the role of Andrei Vasilevskiy’s backup for the next two seasons [Raw Charge]

The big (6’5″, 220 lb) netminder has 35 NHL games on his record with stops in Buffalo, Colorado (twice), and Florida. Last year he appeared in 3 games with the Avalanche, posting 2 wins, a .932 save percentage, and 2.10 goals against average.

In 26 games with the Colorado Eagles of the AHL he added another 14 wins with a 2.33 goals against and .920 save percentage. Originally a third-round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2014, the 27-year-old has had a meandering journey to the NHL as he was once a highly touted prospect, but his game had seemingly stalled at the AHL level.

Later on Saturday, the Lightning also added forwards Logan Brown and Mitchell Chaffee to one-year, two-way deals with the same AAV of $775,000 at the NHL level. Both players will likely split time between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Syracuse.

The Syracuse Crunch have also added goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick, who’s expected to play mostly in the ECHL with the Orlando Solar Bears and will replace Hugo Alnefelt and Matt Tompkins in Syracuse in case of their injuries.

Hockey News

Here’s the list of the most significant signings that happened on the opening day of free agency period:

  1. Despite some very serious efforts in attempt to bring back the longest-tenured player in the Lightning organization, Alex Killorn signed a four-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks, that carries an AAV of $6.25 million.
  2. The most desirable unrestricted free agent defenseman Dmitry Orlov signed a two-year, $7.75 million AAV contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.
  3. The Hurricanes were one of the biggest players on the free market yesterday as they also managed to sign former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Michael Bunting to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $4.5 million and Jesper Fast to a three-year deal with $2.4 million AAV.
  4. The New York Rangers made some veteran signings on Saturday, bringing in Blake Wheeler (one-year deal, $800,000 + $300,000 available in bonuses) and Jonathan Quick (one-year deal, $825,000 + 100,000 in bonuses).
  5. The Bruins added James van Riemsdyk (one-year, $1-million contract), Morgan Geekie (two-year, $2 million AAV contract), Kevin Shattenkirk (one-year, $1.05 million contract) and Milan Lucic (one-year, $1-million contract) on Saturday.
  6. The Nashville Predators signed free agents Ryan O’Reilly (four-year, $4.5 million AAV contract), Luke Schenn (three-year, $2.75 million AAV contract), and Gustav Nyquist (two-year, $3.185 million AAV contract).
  7. The Los Angeles Kings signed goaltender Cam Talbot to a one-year contract with a $1-million AAV.
  8. The Washington Capitals signed forward Max Pacioretty to a one-year deal with a $2-million cap hit plus an additional $2 million in performance-based bonuses. Pacioretty is still recovering after tearing his Achilles tendon in January, shortly after returning from the same injury.
  9. The Ottawa Senator signed Joonas Korpisalo to a five-year contract with an AAV of $4 million.
  10. Recently bought out forward Matt Duchene signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Dallas Stars.
  11. The Winnipeg Jets re-signed former Lightning forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year contract with an AAV of $3 million.
  12. Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere signed a one-year, $4.125 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
  13. The third overall pick in the recent NHL Draft Adam Fantilli signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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