It’s going to be very difficult for the Tampa Bay Lightning to keep Alex Kilorn heading into the 2023-24 season. Salary cap realities are going to require Killorn to leave money on the table if he wants to stick around in Tampa.
But a tidbit from Elliotte Friedman indicates that Tampa has at least tried to keep Killorn around.
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Here at Bolts by the Bay, we chronicled the realistic contract that will be on the table for Killorn this offseason, and he will probably be looking at offers of around 5.25 million dollars per year for four years.
Tampa could technically find a way to pay that, but it isn’t ideal for the Lightning to pay that much.
So the scenario put forth by Friedman in his latest edition of “32 Thoughts” makes sense and is probably the only play Tampa has to keep Killorn.
"“I think Tampa Bay made Alex Killorn a looooong-term, lower-AAV contract offer, but he’s in demand and that will be tough to do.”"
The tidbit doesn’t specify exact numbers, but if the belief is that Killorn could be looking at a contract worth a total of $21 million, Tampa would have to put forth a deal of seven years for $3 million each to match that.
And if he re-signed with Tampa, Killorn could potentially sign an eight-year deal worth $2.75 million per year to surpass that total number.
Killorn will be 34 once the 2023-24 season begins. An eight-year deal would take him all the way to 42 years old. It’s highly unlikely that Tampa wants to be on the hook in four years for even $2.75 million when Killorn turns 38. And keep in mind that if Killorn retires once he hits 35, Tampa is on the hook for the rest of his cap hit for however long the contract was signed.
But it’s the only possible pathway Tampa has to keep Killorn, even if it’s a long shot at best.