Player News - Lightning

Date: Team: Pos:

Tampa Bay has taken Libor Hajek with the 37th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Lauded for his defensive prowess, Libor Hajek's first season in North America has been noted for how remarkably unremarkable it was. The 18-year-old posted just three goals and 26 points in 69 games for Saskatoon, which is only seen as a disappointment in comparison to how elite junior defenders usually perform offensively. Lo, it's his intelligent and physical defensive game that garners him so much praise, in addition to his ability to push the puck up ice swiftly. Hajek has proven himself on many stages, including twice at World Junior and Ivan Hlinka, and considering he already has a man's body at 6'2" and 195 lbs, it's hard to imagine anyone being disappointed with a dominant defense-first defender on their back end.
Jun 25 - 12:50 PM

Boris Katchouk went to the Tampa Bay Lightning with the 44th overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Boris Katchouk doesn't impress with overwhelming skill, but does do one thing better than everyone else - compete game in, game out. This has been the 18-year-old's calling card, which is additionally impressive for his slim 6'1", 190 lbs frame. As a "skilled grinder", Katchouk is considered one of the "safer" picks in the draft. He posted 24 goals and 51 points in 64 games for Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), plus six goals and 10 points during the playoffs in 12 games.
Jun 25 - 11:28 AM

Don't rule out a sign and trade outcome for the Lightning's Steven Stamkos.

Everyone seems to think the Lightning will either sign and keep Stamkos or trade him. But reports out of Tampa suggest that the Bolts could sign Stamkos to a deal first and then move him to another team. We are not sure what more can be obtained by Tampa with that approach but it is worth noting. The Red Wings and Maple Leafs are two teams that have been rumored to have interest in Stamkos. Stay tuned.
Jun 25 - 10:42 AM

In contrast to the Steven Stamkos contract negotiations, extension talks with defenseman Victor Hedman are not expected to be protracted.

So says Hedman's agent Peter Wallen. "I would be shocked if this would go for the whole year," Hedman's agent, Wallen, said. Hedman is eligble to become an unrestricted free agent July 1st of 2017 and the Bolts are anxious to tie him up on a long-term deal.
Jun 25 - 10:37 AM

The Tampa Bay Lightning have taken Brett Howden with the 27th overall pick in the 2016 draft class.

Brett Howden, who is the younger brother of Quinton Howden (Florida's first rounder in 2010), has an intriguing skill set as a classic jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none. Which is to say he's good at everything, and not excellent at anything. Though he did manage to post 24 goals and 64 points in 68 games for Moose Jaw last season, he also posted seven goals and 11 points in nine games across two journeys with Canada’s U-18 club. The 6'2" and 195 lbs center is an effective and reliable two-way forward with strong hockey-sense who needs to bulk up and improve his speed to jump to the next level. Howden projects as a third- or fourth-line center.
Jun 24 - 10:34 PM

Cedric Paquette has inked a two-year, $1.625 million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Paquette will make $800,000 next season and $825,000 in 2017-18. He would have been a restricted free agent in July after completing his entry-level contract. He had six goals, 11 points, and 51 penalty minutes in 56 contests last season.
Jun 24 - 5:45 PM

J.T. Brown has signed a two-year extension with Tampa Bay.

Brown had eight goals, 22 points, and 59 penalty minutes in 78 contests in 2015-16. He would have become a restricted free agent this summer.
Jun 24 - 3:45 PM

Luke Witkowski has inked a one-year, two-way deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Witkowski had 14 points and 166 penalty minutes in 70 AHL contests last season. With Tampa Bay he had no points and four PIM in four games.
Jun 24 - 1:18 PM

Ryan Callahan will miss five months after undergoing surgery to repair a hip labral tear.

That means that Callahan could miss the first month of the regular season and he won't be available to play in the World Cup of Hockey. Callahan had 10 goals and 28 points in 73 games in 2015-16.
Jun 21 - 5:15 PM

Ben Bishop's agent, Allain Roy, said everything was "quiet" Tuesday morning regarding news on the trade front.

Bishop has a list of teams he can be traded to without his permission, as part of his partial no-move clause. GM Steve Yzerman is expected to field calls for Bishop at the NHL Draft, but he doesn't have to move him yet. He said after the season that he is comfortable going into 2016-17 with Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy as his goalies.
Jun 21 - 12:29 PM

Jonathan Marchessault is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July, but he could be back with the Lightning.

There is interest on both sides for him to return to Tampa Bay, where he played 45 games last season. Marchessault recorded seven goals and 18 points.
Jun 21 - 10:26 AM

Tampa Bay has reached out to their potential UFAs and RFAs, including Nikita Kucherov, according to GM Steve Yzerman.

Alex Killorn, Vladislav Namestnikov, J.T. Brown and Cedric Paquette are on that list as well, but no deals have been worked out yet. Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman has to wait for the Steven Stamkos domino to fall and for the salary cap number to be announced before he knows how much room he has to work with.

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman said that the team is still working towards trying to sign Steven Stamkos to a long-term deal.

He is hoping to find out more about the situation this weekend when an exclusive interview window opens on Saturday for pending unrestricted free agents. If it becomes clearer that the Lightning won't sign Stamkos then they could try to trade his rights if he agrees to waive his full no-move clause. Yzerman said he isn't thinking about that option right now, though.
Jun 20 - 4:43 PM

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones believes the timing is right for the Lightning to trade Ben Bishop.

Jones supports that notion by saying: "Bishop gets hurt too much, he's due too much money, the Lightning has a hot prospect who is ready to be a No. 1 goalie. And chances are, the Lightning is going to lose a goalie in the next year or two anyway." Bishop has one more year left on current contract and he is eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer. Tampa Bay also has to get key restricted free agents like Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn signed. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who would become Bishop's replacement, can be a restricted free agent next summer as well. Bishop is an excellent goaltender and would be a hot commodity if the Lightning made him available.
Jun 20 - 9:43 AM

Jonathan Drouin’s trade request has officially been withdrawn.

The whirlwind season for Drouin finished on a high note, and it was clear he’d become an integral part of the Lightning. He alluded to it at the end of the season, too. His agent confirmed that in an email to ESPN. "As Jo said at the end of the season, he wants to be back in Tampa next year," agent Allen Walsh said. "It's a tight-knit group, and going forward, he's happy being part of it." Drouin had 10 points in 21 regular season games, and 14 points in 17 games in the playoffs.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 18 - 8:38 PM


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