Quick Strikes: Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson become last pieces of the Tampa Bay Lightning puzzle

Palat is locked in!

The Bolts

As if it was ever in doubt, Ondrej Palat re-signs with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He will be making an average of $5.3 million for the next 5 seasons — “He scores at a first line rate at even strength and has positive impacts on both shots and goals. The team achieves better results when he is on the ice than off. His point totals are even more impressive considering that he doesn’t receive power play time the way a typical first line forward would.” You can find the full breakdown of his contract as well as a great breakdown of Ondrej’s play here.

With Palat on the books for the next five years, Tyler Johnson signed for the next seven seasons, and Nikita Kucherov still under team control for the next three seasons (he will still be an RFA when his current contract expires), the playoff famous Triplets are all signed on for the next two seasons at a hair over $15 million.

Turns out, Jeff Vinik was one of the secret Times investors the whole time: "After two weeks of speculation and scrutiny over the identities of four mystery investors who chipped in on $12 million to help the Tampa Bay Times refinance its loan, developer and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has said he is one of them." [Creative Loafing]

Tampa Bay Lightning free agency: Grading the Dan Girardi signing -- "Signing a 6-year, $33 million contract in February of 2014, Girardi needed to prove to the Rangers he was worth that kind of money. He didn’t." [Bolts by the Bay]

The Prospects

As promised, the transcript from Mikhail Sergachev’s russian interview with Pavel Panyshev of Championat.com is now ready! Mikhail has some very interesting things to say about the guy who he was traded for in Jonathan Drouin, and the guy who traded for him in GM Steve Yzerman — “Our flight from Tampa was delayed by 14 hours, we couldn’t take off. Yzerman talked to us and tried to distract us from all that. Furthermore, Steve is one of the greatest hockey players in the history of the NHL. And just a very good person.” [Raw Charge]

Special thanks to Extragalactic and Igor Nikonov for translating this for us from video.

Renaud Lavoie reported yesterday evening that 25 year old winger Michael Bournival has signed a 1 year, 2 way deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. “Bournival was a large part of the veteran core in Syracuse when he was with the Crunch, and played a pivotal role on the team during their run to the Calder Cup final. Bournival will more than likely start the year with Syracuse, helping to guide what is projected to be a fairly young roster.” [Raw Charge]

Top 25 Under 25

#16: Cedric Paquette has been been improving every year since he was drafted 101st overall in 2012. This is the year we find out of Ceddy has what it takes to be a full time NHLer, or not. “In this being another contract year, I’d expect Paquette to have a really good season. When he’s on top of his game, he’s an agitator who can chip in on the scoresheet from time to time. His best assets are his penalty killing and ability to get under the skin of the opposition.” [Raw Charge]

#17: 2017 14th overall pick Cal Foote comes into the Tampa Bay Lightning organization with an NHL pedigree. Everyone is convinced he will be an NHLer but some question his upside. Tom Hunter argues how good Adam Foote’s son can be — “I truly think he has the potential to be a top-pairing defender in the NHL for a decade. Foote spent the season playing a major role for his Kelowna team, he was the only draft-eligible defender to play for team WHL during the Canada/Russia Series, and he trailed only Conor Timmins in primary assists among draft eligible CHL defenders.” [Raw Charge]

#18: Boris Katchouk will be looking to see what he can do in what looks to be his final year in the OHL — “Several scouting reports have made note of his high compete level and hockey IQ—a key characteristic of Yzerman draft choices. Some scouts believe he has the ability to be a solid power forward in the NHL, and standing 6’3” and weighing 190 pounds, he still has some room to add bulk.” [Raw Charge]

The Game

Nikita Gusev is staying in the KHL for the next two seasons. Gusev is currently the property of the Vegas Golden Knights who acquired him, along with Jason Garrison from the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the expansion draft. [TSN]

Goaltender Jhonas Enroth has left the NHL and has signed with Dynamo Minsk of the KHL on a one year deal. “Last season, Enroth was signed to be the Maple Leafs’ backup. But he got off to a tough start and ended up in the minors. Eventually, he was traded to the Ducks and played for their AHL affiliate in San Diego.” [NBCSN]