Player News - Lightning

Date: Team: Pos:

Victor Hedman has one season remaining on his contract before he is eligible for unrestricted free agency, but Tampa Bay is expected to lock him up to a new deal.

"We're going to be patient," said Hedman's agent Peter Wallen. "It's a big puzzle for (GM Steve Yzerman) to put in place." Wallen doesn't think the negotiations will linger over the course of the season. Hedman will get a significant pay raise from the $4 million he is currently making.
May 28 - 2:11 PM

Nikita Kucherov is due to get a substantial raise.

He has a $700,000 salary that could rise by around $5 million depending on the term he receives. Kucherov is a restricted free agent after completing his entry-level deal. He has generated 59 goals and 131 points in the past two seasons and he has been spectacular in the playoffs with 22 goals and 42 points in 45 games over the last three years.
May 28 - 2:00 PM

Andrei Vasilevskiy will force the Lightning to make changes to their crease eventually, but for now the team is satisfied to have him play with Ben Bishop.

"Is (Vasilevskiy) going to be a No. 1 starting goaltender in this league? I don't have a doubt in my mind," coach Jon Cooper said. "The ceiling is limitless." The Lightning could decide to trade Bishop with a potential expansion draft next year, but GM Steve Yzerman doesn't have a problem starting the season with Vasilevskiy and Bishop.
May 28 - 1:53 PM

Jonathan Drouin wants to be back with the Lightning next season.

"I definitely want to be here," Drouin said. "I love the way this ended, I guess, with this different and weird year. ... It's definitely somewhere I want to play." Drouin had a strong finish to the season when he scored in two straight games prior to the playoffs. In the postseason, he registered five goals and 14 points in 17 outings. "He makes us a better team. It's as simple as that," GM Steve Yzerman said. "What he showed me, I think the best thing for this team right now is Jonathan Drouin on it."
May 28 - 11:49 AM

The Lightning have a whopping 12 players who will particiapte in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

They are tied with the Blackhawks for the most players from one team who are on rosters. It is certainly a testimony to the teams' scouts and development people that Tampa has become such a powerhouse squad in the NHL. Ben Bishop and Ryan Callahan will skate for Team U.S.A., while Jonathan Drouin (North America), Steven Stamkos (Canada), Andrei Vasilevskiy, Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikitak Kucherov (Russia), Valteri Filppula (Finland), Andrej Sustr and Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic) and Anton Stralman and Victor Hedman (Sweden) will also compete in the tournament.
May 28 - 10:05 AM

Steven Stamkos may have played his last game with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Penguins eliminated the Lightning in Game 7 on Thursday night and Stamkos made a surprise return to the lineup. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July, but he has expressed plenty of interest in staying with Tampa Bay and hopes that something can be worked out for that to happen.
May 27 - 5:38 PM

It doesn't sound like the Lightning will be trading Jonathan Drouin and that shouldn't come as a surprise.

GM Steve Yzerman indicated that Drouin would be back with the team next season. "I think the best thing for our team is for Jonathan Drouin is on it," said Yzerman. It appears as though the two sides have mended fences since Drouin requested a trade back in November. He was demoted to the minors and later suspended for walking away from the team, but he was reinstated after Steven Stamkos was injured and played great for the Lightning. The 21-year-old forward excelled in the playoffs with 14 points in 17 games.
May 27 - 5:31 PM

Ben Bishop strained ligaments around his ankle/shin area in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

He was still experiencing some problems when he went into down into the butterfly, but felt he was getting close. Bishop said he might have been ready for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final had the Lightning advanced.
May 27 - 5:22 PM

Valtteri Filppula ended a five-game scoring drought on Thursday in a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

He earned three assists in the series to give him seven points in 17 games during the postseason. Filppula had a disappointing year offensively in 2015-16 with eight goals and 31 points in 76 games.
May 27 - 9:27 AM

Victor Hedman recorded his 10th assist of the postseason in Thursday's 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh.

Thursday's Game 7 loss eliminated the Lightning from the playoffs. Hedman finished with 14 points in 17 contests after he had 14 points in 26 matches during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
May 27 - 9:22 AM

Matt Carle was a healthy scratch in Game 7 against Pittsburgh.

The Lightning kept Slater Koekkoek in the lineup instead and dressed six defenders due to the return of Steven Stamkos to the fold.
May 27 - 8:56 AM

Ben Bishop wasn't ready to return in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final because of a lower left leg injury.

"It wasn't really much of a thought," Bishop said before the game. "I'm not there yet. You want to be out there, but it's not that close yet." He was hoping to be back during the Stanley Cup Final, but the Lightning were eliminated by Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
May 27 - 8:50 AM

Steven Stamkos logged 11:55 of ice time in his return to the lineup in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

He had surgery to repair a blood clot in his right collarbone area back on April 4 and was making his first appearance since March 31. "In order to come back and play, you have to be past that, not only physically but mentally," Stamkos said when asked if he felt tentative in his return. "I was past that. Felt pretty good." He had two shots, two hits and a minus-1 rating in Tampa Bay's 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh.
May 27 - 8:45 AM

Andrei Vasilevskiy did all he could for Tampa Bay on Thursday night in stopping 37 shots, but it wasn't enough for the Bolts who fell 2-1 to Pittsburgh in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Vasilevskiy played extremely well coming in for starter Ben Bishop, who went down in Game 1 of the series. At just 21 years of age, he played with poise, ferocity and gave his team a chance against one of the league's premier offences. Bishop has garnered two Vezina Trophy nominations in the past three years and is currently an NHL All Star, but Vasilevskiy makes Bishop expendable.
May 26 - 11:24 PM

Jonathan Drouin scored his fifth and final goal of the playoffs on Thursday night, as the Lightning were eliminated with a 2-1 loss in Game 7 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Drouin was nothing short of terrific for the Bolts in the postseason. He overcame all sorts of adversity throughout the year, which included long stints in the American Hockey League and under suspension, but Drouin became a crucial part of Tampa Bay's success. He notched 14 points in 17 games to help the Bolts come within one win of another trip to the Stanley Cup Final. It will certainly be interesting to see what Lightning GM Steve Yzerman does with this young, budding star this off-season.
May 26 - 11:08 PM


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