Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts Bits: Brian Boyle’s baby, bring back Budaj?


Former (future?) Bolts forward Brian Boyle welcomed a new addition to his family recently, and the case for the Tampa Bay Lightning resigning goaltender Peter Budaj.

Congratulations are in order to former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brian Boyle on the newest addition to the roster of Team Boyle. Brian’s Twitter feed delivered the good news Wednesday, May 24, with a pic of his wife, Lauren, and their baby girl.

May looks to be a busy birthday month in the Boyle household; news of the birth comes less than a week after Brian took to Twitter to wish his firstborn, son Declan, a happy second birthday on May 19.

With all these Boyle birthdays to take care of, maybe Brian should be looking for a new contract. As an impending unrestricted free agent, Boyle could potentially re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, to whom the Lightning traded the veteran center before the 2017 deadline. But popular fan opinion has Boyle coming home to Tampa Bay to once again be a Bolt.

Make it happen, Stevie Y.


Next: Is the All-Star Game coming back to Tampa Bay?

In other offseason news, The Hockey Writers are making the for case resigning goalie Peter Budaj. The benefits of bringing back backup Budaj — who arrived in Tampa Bay as part of the trade that shipped Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, and is UFA — include “experience and mentorship.”

"Budaj has the regular season experience that Vasilevskiy lacks entering next season. While Vasilevskiy is far ahead of the learning curve for someone who turns 23 in July and has seen just 90 games of action at the NHL level, he will benefit from playing with a veteran like Budaj. The Slovak netminder has 357 regular-season games of experience under his belt and he knows what it’s like to be under the microscope."

Among the other reasons Budaj is a good call, according to writer Steven Diossi, are cost and timing; his conclusion is “it just makes sense.” Budaj earned $600,000 last season, as part of a one-year contract, a solid deal for a proven backup. A new contract would likely be south of $1 million AAV, which helps Lightning GM Steve Yzerman in securing other contracts.

Timing-wise, Diossi points out that, while Tampa Bay has some prospects in their farm system, none of them are ready for a full-time backup gig. Kristers Gudlevskis has shone at times, but Diossi’s assessment is actually spot-on.

What do you think the Bolts should do about their backup goaltending situation?