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Tampa Bay Lightning extend Darren Raddysh

Darren Raddysh skates just inside the blue line in a practice session for the Tampa Bay Lightning
Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning via their Twitter (@TBLightning)

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois continues to bring certainty to his roster not only for this season, but for upcoming seasons as he inked defenseman Darren Raddysh to a two-year extension which will keep him under contract through the 2025-26 season.

The $975,000 annual value represents a raise of about $200,000 over his current $762,500 contract that expires at the end of this season. More significantly, for the first time in his career, the 27 year-old is signing a one-way contract which guarantees that he’ll be paid the same in the AHL as he would be in the NHL.

Raddysh, who played in 17 games for the Lightning last season, picked up his first NHL points (1 goal, 2 assists). He added another goal and an assist in the playoffs as he became a regular part of the defensive core. It was earlier in the season, in Syracuse, where Raddysh had a true breakout performance by recording 51 points (13 goals, 38 assists) in 50 games for the Crunch.

Much like Brandon Hagel, who signed an extension yesterday with the Lightning, it hasn’t been a straight path to the NHL for Raddysh. Undrafted despite putting up exceptional offensive numbers in the OHL with the Erie Otters, including an 81 point (16 goals, 65 assists) season in 2016-17, Raddysh signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks and spent a few seasons in Rockford before being traded to the New York Rangers for Peter Holland.

He continued his AHL journey in Hartford before the Lightning signed him as a free agent prior to the 2021-22 season. Raddysh earned his first call-up that season and made his debut on December 30. During his second call-up in February he had the honor of playing in an NHL game with his brother, Taylor.

Heading into this season Raddysh will be competing for a spot on the third pairing with Zach Bogosian, Haydn Fleury, and Calvin de Haan, but the extension is a good sign that he might be a front runner for the spot behind Erik Cernak and Nick Perbix. Bogosian, Fleury, and de Haan will be free agents after this season.

As for the Lightning, they now have 17 players signed for the 2024-25 season with $75,915,000 in committed cap hits. If the salary cap goes up to the expected $87,500,000, that leaves them with about $11,585,000 left in cap space.

The official press release:

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Darren Raddysh to a two-year, one-way contract extension worth an average annual value of $975,000, vice president and general manager Julien BriseBois announced today. The contract extension will begin with the 2024-25 season.

The 27-year-old Raddysh played 17 regular season games for Tampa Bay in 2022-23, joining the Lightning on March 2 after being recalled from their American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse and making his season debut that night against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The right-shot defenseman skated in 17 of the Bolts’ final 22 regular season games and recorded a goal and three points, notching his first career NHL points with two assists April 1 versus the New York Islanders and scoring his first NHL goal his next game April 5 at the New York Rangers. Raddysh skated in all six of Tampa Bay’s games in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs and tallied a goal (Game 3 vs. Toronto) and an assist (Game 6 vs. Toronto) while averaging 25:13 time on ice, second most on the Lightning behind only Mikhail Sergachev (26:55).

Raddysh had a standout season at the AHL level with Syracuse in 2022-23, posting 13 goals and 51 points in 50 contests to rank tied for third among all AHL defensemen for scoring and fifth for goals. He was selected to represent the North Division at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic.

Raddysh has skated in 21 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, and made his NHL debut December 30, 2021 at the Florida Panthers. The Toronto, Ontario native went undrafted and was originally signed by the Lightning to a one-year, two-way contract July 28, 2021 before re-signing a two-year, two-way contract June 30, 2022. 

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