There was good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday, as the team was able to come to terms with defensemen Mikhail Sergachev on a three-year contract.
The deal is worth 14.4 million dollars over three years and averages out to 4.8 million a year.
Sergachev played in 70 games last season, scoring ten goals and dishing out 24 assists.
Sergachev also contributed to the Lightning’s Stanley Cup run with three goals and 10 points.
With Sergachev in the fold, the Lightning now has 19 players under contract.
This deal with Sergachev puts the Lightning two million dollars over the salary cap. The Lightning also needs to sign Erik Cernak and Anthony Cirelli to new contracts.
On the signing of Sergachev, General Manager Julien BriseBois speaking with the Tampa Bay Times said, “He’s a good young, two-way defenseman who’s got size, he’s got the skill, and he can skate. He’s got all the tools, and it came together for him this past season.”
Sergachev wanted to be back in Tampa with the Lightning and posted on his Instagram account, “Will be making noise for three more years in Tampa, couldn’t be happier.”
The Lightning still needs to move some salary to sign Cirelli and Cernak. The Lightning put Tyler Johnson and his five million dollar salary on waivers earlier this season, but no one took the bait. So Johnson remains a Tampa Bay Lightning.
BriseBois said that getting under the cap shouldn’t be a problem. “I never doubted that we would be able to, and that remains to be the case. Exactly how that will come to be, I’m not in a position to make that announcement today, but we’re still working on it. The plan continues to be to keep those three young players for the foreseeable future. One of them we were able to lock up today, and the other two were working.”
Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn are the two prime candidates to be traded, but the Lightning may have to sweeten the deal a bit in the form of prospects or cash considerations to have a team take Killorn or Johnson.
There has been no official date given as to when the Lightning will need to be at the salary cap. The tentative start date for the season is January first, with training camps opening sometime in December.
Time is running out on that timetable. There are still issues to be worked out between the players and the union.