NHL free agency opens July 1st at noon EST, and the Tampa Bay Lightning will have some shopping to do to round out their roster.
Here are the key items you need to know on the team’s situation heading into free agency:
Salary cap and roster spots
According to CapFriendly, the Lightning currently have $7,325,000 in salary cap room, with 17 players on next season’s roster. If we assume Phil Myers is waived and assigned to the Syracuse Crunch — like he was for most of last season — then that changes to $8,475,000 in cap room with 16 players signed.
Pending free agents
The team still has a couple of pending free agents unsigned, but other than one of — hopefully both of — Alex Killorn and Tanner Jeannot, the rest are not expected to return for next season. The complete list includes:
- Tanner Jeannot (RFA)
- Alex Killorn (UFA)
- Ian Cole (UFA)
- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (UFA)
- Brian Elliott (UFA)
Current roster projection
Based on those already under contract, next year’s lineup currently look something like the following. The open positions that will need to be filled are bolded.
Stamkos — Point — Kucherov
Hagel — Cirelli — [2RW]
[3LW] — Paul — Eyssimont
Maroon — [4C] — [4RW]
Hedman — Perbix
Sergachev — Raddysh
Fleury — Cernak
Zach Bogosian, Phil Myers
Tampa Bay Lightning news and rumors
Lightning remain in pursuit of retaining Killorn
GM Julien BriseBois wants Alex Killorn to stay. Alex Killorn wants to stay. But the Lightning do not have the salary cap space to pay Killorn his full worth, and they have not been able to find a number that works for both parties yet.
I imagine BriseBois will continue checking to seeing if a deal can be made, but with Killorn expected to be one of the hottest forwards on the free agent market this year, he might not stay unsigned for long after noon tomorrow.
Zach Bogosian trade rumors
Bogosian’s reunion with the Lightning has not quite lived up to his initial Cup-winning playoff run with the team in 2020. After previously playing alongside Victor Hedman, he’s mainly found himself on the bottom pairing or out of the lineup completely. Playing 48 and 46 games the past two seasons, respectively, reports are that he would like a bigger, more consistent role elsewhere.
Trading Bogosian will not net the team any meaningful cap space since he only has one year remaining on his contract with an $850K cap hit, but it will allow them to retool their defensive depth.