Kukla's Korner

With Stamkos Re-Inked and Purcell on Deck, Bolts are Sitting Pretty

And there you have it…

Stammergeddon ends up being about as valuable as any doomsday prophecy we’ve seen come and go in recent years, while Steven Stamkos comes in at a $7.5 million cap hit for the Tampa Bay Lightning over five years, which, all things considered, is excellent value for a player of this caliber.

As the wait lengthened for a deal to be announced, $8 million-plus in AAV seemed like a distinct possibility and with the end result being a fair amount below that theorized figure, the contract has to be considered a win for both sides. The Lightning keep their superstar forward and the player gets a high-dollar deal for a term that still leaves options down the road (and a no-movement clause - you know, in case - in the fifth and final year, according to Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune).

Now, with Stamkos wrapped up, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman can turn his attention to RFA Teddy Purcell, who is slated for an arbitration hearing tomorrow and though word is that ruling could come in as high as $3 million for either one or two years should the two sides not reach a prior agreement, Tampa Bay is in solid shape, with upwards of $7 million in cap space even after the Stamkos deal, according to CapGeek.com. Should Purcell come in even at the high-end number of $3M per, the Lightning will have plenty of wiggle room for mid-season adjustments, trade deadline additions or, well, whatever.

The summer’s top priority was handled with patience and sensibility by Yzerman and company and the club is set up nicely in turn. That could change down the road, of course, with key players like Steve Downie and Victor Hedman both due new contracts next season but neither of those two will be game-changers, with regard to the overall salary scale. With that in mind, and with the way the Stamkos saga played out in the end, there shouldn’t be much concern long-term, so far as the molding of this roster is concerned.

As it appears the Bolts are finished with the UFA market (no great loss there, really, with slim pickins remaining), the only negative to the loose ends of Stamkos and Purcell all but tied up is that we appear to be headed for a heck of a dry spell, news-wise.

All things considered, it could be a lot worse.

But maybe there was never any chance of things taking any kind of downturn around here in the first place.

JJ on Twitter

Filed in: Tampa Bay Lightning, | Beasts of the Southeast | Permalink


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