Signing Ross Colton was the last remaining box to be checked for the Tampa Bay Lightning heading into the 2022 season. Negotiations had grown stagnant between the Lightning and Colton, so much that an arbitration hearing was set for August 16th.
That all came to a head today, as Colton agreed to a two-year contract, as the Lightning announced.
The numbers for the two-year deal are a $2.25 million total salary with $1.125 million AAV. Colton made a name for himself with the Lightning in the 2021 playoffs with 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) in his 23 games. All four goals were important in the Lightning’s quest to win the Stanley Cup; however, his last goal of the season may be the most important. With six minutes remaining in the second period of a scoreless Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, Colton pushed a pass from David Savard past Carey Price to score what would be the game’s lone goal, putting the Bolts over the Montreal Canadiens en route to their second straight championship.
The 24-year old, who was selected 118th overall by the Lightning in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, was called up in 2021 after spending the previous three seasons with the Syracuse Crunch. Colton totaled 73 points in his three seasons in the AHL, including 27 goals with a +/- of 8. With the financials out of the way, both sides can now focus on the upcoming season as the Lightning will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on October 12th as the team attempts to complete a three-peat.
The final bout of business is taken care of; by signing Colton, and Jon Cooper is announced as Canada’s frontman for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. What a day in Tampa Bay.